The first time I read this, I was mesmerized by the book and read most of it on the cold hallway floor by the bookshelf where I found the book. It is still a favorite, standing up to repeated readings which is the true test of a great read. This version of C.S. Lewis’s classic is a read aloud version illustrated by Pauline Baynes. It’s the best of the Narnia series, and the first one you should read, even though it does not come first in the series, because it sets the framework for the series better than The Magician’s Nephew. Sticklers for chronology may have trouble with this, but listen: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first to be published, so think of The Magician’s Nephew as a prequel.
Good versus evil, sibling rivalry, absolute power, revolution–this book has it all, along with time travel and allegory. A fantasy of the highest order, this book will foster imagination, bravery and critical thinking. Take a close look at the setting and descriptions. Pull out a few paragraphs, such as the ones on Mr. and Mrs. Beaver’s home (p. 71, 72), and analyze the sentence lengths, structure and types of words used (that is, ratio of verbs to nouns and adjectives/adverbs). Then write a structurally similar paragraph for a setting of your choice. This can be done in a small group, where students can bounce ideas off each other and describe the school setting.