“This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child. It is a very important story because it shows how all the comings and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began.” – opening sentences of The Magician’s Nephew
I waited for what felt like FFOORREEVVVEERR to introduce my son to C.S. Lewis. Forever.
Finally, the day came! It was time to start reading the series, The Chronicles of Narnia!
I read aloud The Magician’s Nephew to my little guy when he was four years old and we both loved it. Check out the video review to find out what I liked and didn’t like about the book, what ages it would be good for, and anything questionable that you need to know about before picking the book up.
You can scroll past the video for just the bare book details. If you don’t watch the video, make sure to read the Special Considerations section so that you aren’t blindsided by something in the book that might be a touchy subject for some people.
Title: The Magician’s Nephew
Author: C. S. Lewis
Number of Pages: 221 pages (in the edition we read)
Number of Chapters: 15
Average Chapter Length: about 16 pages
Illustrator: Pauline Baynes
Picture Frequency: 4 pictures per chapter; 1 picture every 4 pages
Special Considerations: There is a very powerful and wicked witch who fights people and talks about the time that she killed her sister and the rest of the population of her planet. My kids did not pick up on the evil things that she did, because it was just the queen talking about killing her sister in the past. It is not a graphic or gory description at all, but be aware that it is in there. I think older kids might understand that she is talking about overthrowing her sister by killing her.
The main character, Digory, lives with his uncle. His uncle is one of the bad guys. It’s not my favorite when family members are the enemies, but it works in this story. And the uncle gets his comeuppance in the end, so that’s good. Just keep it in mind as you are reading and check in if your kiddos seem concerned.
The main character’s mother is dying and he talks about it some. If this is going to scare your kids, make sure to mention that she is very sick and the story is set a long time ago, but you are not sick.
My Thoughts: I recommend The Magician’s Nephew for preschool or older. This would not be a good first chapter book because of the complexity of the story line and the fact that it does not have a highly memorable main character.
I loved reading this book. My son loved listening to this book. Thank goodness for that, because if he didn’t like C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors, we would have a major problem!
We would both highly recommend The Magician’s Nephew! I give it 5 out of 5 Ears, meaning this book should be on your bookshelf.