The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis (1950)

A Sweet Spot and Intermediate selection.

Before they read Harry Potter, before they read The Indian in the Cupboard, they used to read The Chronicles of Narnia. They still do. With a book this timeless, why not consider sharing it and experiencing it with your whole school?

If you do, of course you need to start with the book that started it all, the first book in the series, the book that takes new readers on that first trip through the mysterious, magical wardrobe and into the alternate world of Narnia – filled with fauns and the evil White Witch and the grand, mysterious lion, Aslan. That book is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (first published in 1950).

There’s a reason why a series like this is still in print, still inspiring a film series, still charming new generations of readers. Start with C.S. Lewis’s matchless prose – clear and simple, approachable but not demeaning. But don’t stop there. It’s possible that children may someday tire of that magical moment when – as readers – their understanding of the world changes and they enter a new realm, filled with every possibility of the imagination. But we don’t think that our children are so jaded or experienced that that day is here. (In fact, we think that day will never come.) The truth is, One School, One Book is a testament to the recurring charms and still present joys that reside in the books we have always loved – whether we encountered them as children ourselves, or as adults (as parents or teachers) in the more recent past.

That is what C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia provide. A classic set of tales, still new to each generation of readers. Invite your school to join the Pevensie children as they leave London for the countryside, only to find that there is an ever stranger world – full of possibility – awaiting them. Invite your students to struggle with Edmund and Lucy as they decide what to believe, and who is trustworthy, and what to do with the risks posed by the White Witch. Invite them to ponder the ineffable mystery of Aslan who is loyal and trustworthy and yet instills fear and awe all at the same time. Invite your students to consider why this is a series that will still be in print when they are parents, and that they will likely someday read to their own children.