Monday, June 16, 2008

Book#4 - Once Upon a Time Challenge

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis is the 4th book in my Once Upon a Time Challenge. I decided to change to this book when I realized that it was June's Book Group selection. (We always read a kid-oriented book for the first month of the summer, invite any kids to come and have a combined special book group on a summer afternoon. We make ice cream sundaes and the kids participate, eat and then escape to the game room and play pool and games while the adults talk.)

The Magician's Nephew was written as the 6th book in the series, The Chronicles of Narnia, but is actually a precursor to the series. It comes before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and really focuses on the creation of Narnia, how Aslan did it, and even explains how the wardrobe came to be, was magical and ended up in the house in the countryside. It's a fast afternoon read; full of types and shadows and a journey to enchanting places. 4.0/5.0

Book Group discussion should be interesting. I wonder how much the kids will see in the types and shadows. As a teacher I found that many of students had a lot of insight when they were challenged to think outside the box - I bet we have that again!! I especially found these quotes to be interesting:

p. 18 "Rules ... can't be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages." "Men like me who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures." Digory saw through it all though and said, "All it means," he said to himself, "is that he thinks he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants." (Isn't that just like most people today?!?! We think the rules apply to others and not to ourselves!)

p. 126 "Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed."

Aslan spoke about Uncle Andrew, who could not hear his voice or the other animals as they spoke:
p. 171 "... he has made himself unable to hear my voice." "But I will give him the only gift he is still able to receive." Aslan saw that Uncle Andrew could not receive the higher gifts but would only be able to handle the simplest of miracles and gifts. Interesting.

Yippee! One more book to go.

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