The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
I spent a fair bit of time over 12 months last year reading this series of 7 books to my eldest two. At the time they were aged 8 & 10. We started with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe which even though is chronologically the second one, I felt was the one to set the scene and it reveals Aslan in a wonderfully slow and descriptive way. If that one grabs their attention and they love it – they will be ready to cope with the rest. If they can’t quite manage it yet, wait before you go on to the rest.
There are many wonderful things about these books – the beauty and creativity of Lewis’s writing; you can just enjoy the story; or as a Christian you can read them and see all sorts of analogies with Christian teaching and thought, and use that as a springboard to talk about matters of God and faith.
Personally, I loved it – I had not read the final five in the series before myself, so for all three of us it was the first time we were experiencing it.
We would read a book, chapter by chapter at night, then take a break for about a month and then start the next one. Some were harder going than others. We felt The Horse and His Boy was slow to get going. I found The Silver Chair a bit hard going myself.
In the end though, we loved them all. They were detailed, interesting, good stories with strong characters. The absolute highlight was the final chapter of the final book, The Last Battle. For those who have read it, you know what I mean. For those who have not – it is a fictional picture of arriving in heaven. We finished reading it and all just looked at each other, in silence and amazement and awe. All we could say was ‘wow’.
The best moment of all was about 10 minutes later when my son came up to me and said "If that is what heaven is like, it makes you definitely want to make sure you believe in Jesus so you get to go there".
There it is in a nutshell – why I read to my kids and why I teach them the faith. Thank God for these wonderful authors!