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Family Book Club: The Narnia Series

Or "Teatime in Narnia"

{Originally written August 2020}

Lion face close-up.

Our third Family Book Club pick was the entire Chronicles of Narnia series, which we read throughout the summer. We decided to read them in Narnian chronology, not in publication order, since the author didn’t intentionally write them in the order they were published.

Published between 1950-1956, the seven-book series by C.S. Lewis is a high fantasy story set in Narnia, a parallel world. The four Pevensie siblings reach Narnia in various ways throughout the series. Each time they return to the "Real World," it's as if no time has passed. While not technically allegorical, the series is full of symbolism that parallels aspects of Christianity and the Bible.

The Littles had never read any of them except The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, so most of it was brand new to them. I’d read all but two, back when the oldest--now 14--was about the age the Littles are now, 9 and 10. We had two copies of the books so we passed them around, and the boys routinely finished them before I did, since, you know, they can sit around and read for hours a day but I pretty much only read in the last moments of the night.

When we first began, I had the boys keeping track of characters and creating a timeline of our world vs Narnian time, but we descended into our summer laziness, that all fell to the wayside. Instead of some kind of scholarly presentation, we had a leisurely discussion over tea time. (This is why I never attempted homeschooling.)

Technically, it was our lunch, but I served tea and cut sandwiches into little triangles, and the oldest made scones. The oldest enjoys baking--I believe primarily because he enjoys eating the result--and loves scones.

It was universally agreed that The Horse and His Boy was the least favorite and Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe were among the most favorite. I personally also liked The Magician’s Nephew a lot.

Because we were discussing seven books read over two months, the conversation was not particularly deep or specific. However, reading them all at the same time allowed us to have smaller conversations along the way.

By not giving the boys loads of sugar before trying to have the discussion (as I did the last books clubs), there were fewer antics. No one pulled anyone around in a box. No one reenacted scenes. Better for discussion, less interesting for blog posts. So I’m afraid I have fewer hilarious quotes to share this time. In fact, I have none. Honestly, I’m not sure which sort of Family Book Club I prefer.


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