Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew (a Review)

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Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew (a Review)

This month I decided to step into the land of Narnia and see how it all started by reviewing The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew by the author C.S. Lewis. To some, this might not be the first book in the Narnia Series, but if you read Chronicles of Narnia series in story order from start to finish, this would be book 1.

The other way to read them is to use the order that C.S. Lewis wrote them. I have chosen to teach the Narnia series in story chronological order because it will not confuse Beck as easily and should make for one long adventure in the land of Narnia for him.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew (a Review)

Our family has started to read these books at the recommendation of our local Children’s Librarian for our son Beck. When we were at the library he was thrilled to find it in the juvenile fiction section under “JF Lewis“.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew (a Review)

This is a great fantasy book for a reader of any age. When the Children’s Librarian recommended it, I had very little convincing to do to get Beck to read it. The book starts out with two similar, yet different characters. These two characters are two young children in London named Polly and Digory. The story follows these two youths from London to Narnia and back.

As the children investigate the world around them they meet the magician, Digory’s Uncle Andrew. Hence the title, the Magician’s Nephew. The author utilizes his prowess as a great storyteller to transport the characters around wondrous scenery to tell how Narnia was created. From adding animals to plants to morals, the author tells this story from the view point of the characters in such a way that any reader will want to read the next adventure as soon as possible.

The story develops through the book and flows from one plot point to the next with a seamless style that is easy for the reader, especially younger readers, to follow and understand. I do not want to ruin the entire book for you, so will not divulge any more details here.

Some of the positive aspects of this book:

  • C.S. Lewis uses his innate ability to set the setting, characters, and storyline to keep the reader enticed. The author’s writing style flows from one plot point to the next in a way that gives a lot of details. From the plants of Narnia spreading out as they are created to the fight scene at the lamp post, each plot point is developed and presented in beautiful prose that keep you coming back for more.
  • C.S. Lewis does a superb job of setting up foreshadowing future parts of the book and storyline. There are times when the reader will find themselves drifting to see what is happening in another part of Narnia and it is at just those times that the author lures you back and lets you know that you do not have to be worried because ‘it is a story for another time.’ Those moments of storyline foreshadowing are then wrapped eloquently back into the story when they are brought up again and used in the story. The basic premise that C.S. Lewis utilizes is that the story arcs are always in flux while you are reading, but the author will take your hand and shows you, instead of telling you, where the plot is going from there.

As with any good book, there is sometimes a negative aspect of it as well. In my opinion, there is no real negative with this book, but there is a potentially negative aspect that some might find with this book:

  • At times, C.S. Lewis reverts to strange dialects of the English language when characters speak. This is not necessarily bad, but Beck had some problems with it until I told him that they were words he just had to read and what the words were short for. This could mire some young readers in the details of the reading and frustrate their progress through certain sections of the story. This can easily be overcome by just letting your young reader know that when the characters are speaking, sometimes they use words that are not real words, but rather shortenings of words and catch phrases based on where they are from.

Overall, it is my opinion that if you have a young reader that likes a good fantasy setting, then the Chronicles of Narnia will be a wonderful setting for them to enjoy their reading. While they learn all about the happenings in Narnia they will be transported to places unknown and far away in the land of Narnia. The Magician’s Nephew is a great starting point that sets up what Narnia is, quite literally as the birth of Narnia occurs in front of the main characters of the book, Polly and Digory. If you would like to get your own copy of this book instead of getting it from the juvenile fiction section of your library then you can also find it on Amazon or in the Kindle store.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew book study at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Make sure to also check out my Chronicle of Narnia, Book 1 – The Magician’s Nephew Book Study that I created specifically for use with this book to start your journey to Narnia. If you are a Member of my E.H.M. Member’s Only Website then it can be found on the Fall/Winter page.

Clip art by: Melonheadz Illustrating, Ink N Little Things, Revi Devi

About Jill @ Enchanted Homeschool Mom

Jill of Enchanted Homeschooling Mom is the homeschooling mother of 2 awesome children (Beck and Elizabeth), a loving wife, who brings readers along on her family’s homeschooling journey in their rural setting. She enjoys blogging about everything related to her homeschooling experience, from the daily happenings of Beck and Elizabeth, to the adventures in nature around them, to her family’s 4 rescue dogs, to just about anything that makes their homeschooling journey magical. Jill also takes the time to create printables for her homeschool classroom that she provides at her EHM Member’s Only Website. She has a wide variety of printables, curriculum, unit studies, and holiday related items that everyone is sure to find educational, useful, fun, and appropriate. You can follow with Jill’s magical homeschooling journey at, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. Don't forget to also have some magical virtual book club fun each month with Poppins Book Nook!

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