Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Middle Grade Classic: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

This is a MUCH more modern-looking cover than my copy has!

Title: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Author: C. S. Lewis
Publisher:  The Macmillan Co., 1950, 154 pages
Source: My Dad bought this one in 1968 and I somehow sorta made off with it. . .

I'm not doing a summary on this one--it's too well-known!  I will say that I re-read it because it was the June pick for the Great Middle Grade Reads group at, and if you are a reader of middle grade lit, you should check out that group!

This children's classic was hard for me to review.  It was an absolute favorite of mine for many years, and I read it at least once a year until after I got out of college (and never MIND how long ago THAT was!). During my college years I think I paid too much attention to the allegorical side of it, and kind of ruined it for myself, so I have trouble reading it as just a great story.

But I still love many elements of the story, which is a true fantasy as well as a Christian allegory (well, it is, and there's no getting away from that completely). Mr. and Mrs. Beaver make my day. I also enjoyed the writing style, but it will strike many as outdated.  Lewis often breaks the 'fourth wall' and addresses the reader directly, which I rather enjoyed but may annoy some--I get the feeling that is a no-no nowadays.

I think the whole Narnia series is worth a read (or a re-read), especially for anyone who reads and writes fantasy (know your roots!). I admit I never much liked The Last Battle, even as a kid, but that's me. Maybe. The end of the world is tough. Whether you're a kid reading it for the first time, or you haven't read it in 30 years, take a look at Narnia for some fun stories and a better understanding of fantasy literature.

Full Disclosure: I stole my Dad's copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe back in about 1981, and received nothing from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Just in case I get the chance to add this to the hop!


  1. I've always loved this story, though it is incredibly sad and very difficult to get through at times. I've tried to read his other work, but nothing seemed to compare to Narnia. It's timeless.

    1. Long ago I remember having a pretty good time with the Screwtape Letters. But aside from Narnia, most of Lewis' work is theological, and that of course limits the appeal.

  2. I love that your copy of the book was stolen from your dad. :)

    I recently reread this one, as this was a favorite series of mine growing up. I still find the story magical, but I agree that the writing may seem outdated to some. I didn't finish rereading the whole series- but maybe I will do that soon. :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, at one point when I was in college I stole his entire collection of Lewis' works. I'm thinking about rereading the whole series, or at least some more of the books. Memory says that he got more into the fantasy and less into the symbolism as he went on. The style remains the same, but that's part of the charm in one way (I kind of like the way authors like Lewis talk right to the reader).


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