Plot: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are siblings who, during WWII, are forced to go and stay with a wealthy doctor until the war is over. While playing a game of hide-and-seek with her brothers and sister Lucy finds a room with nothing but a wardrobe in it. She enters the wardrobe for a hiding place and discovers that through the back of the wardrobe is an entrance into the land of Narnia. She meets a faun named Mr. Tumnus who tells her all about Narnia and the White Witch who has made it so that it is always winter in Narnia. Lucy goes and gets her siblings to come and meet Mr. Tumnus, but they discover that his house has been invaded and there is no Mr. Tumnus to be found. They set out to find Mr. Tumnus and along the way encounter an assortment of creatures and characters, good and bad, including the infamous Aslan.
Review: Originally the first novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series this is now the second novel because Lewis wrote a prequel for the series. This book will take you on an adventure of your lifetime with his elaborately created world and expanse of sub-characters. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are on a quest to find Mr. Tumnus and help all of Narnia by defeating the evil White Witch who has made it so that Narnia is constantly in the season of winter. Barely excaping her clutches and facing down the enemies, these four children show courage and bravery that goes beyond other characters of children’s novels. The adventure only begin with this novel, read all of the Chronicles of Narnia to continue the story and meet new characters.
Reading Level/Interest Level: 5.5/5-8 graders
Similar Materials: The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman, Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke
Reader’s Advisory: This is one of seven of the Chronicles of Narnia, all titles among this series include (in order): The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Horse and his Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle. The entire series is a must read for all children, and really for all ages. There is some underlying religion that is evident, but does not deter the greatness of the story.