Catholic School Summer Reading: Chronicles of Narnia
Summer is in full swing! Time off of school doesn’t mean your kids can’t enjoy learning. The key is to tap into their interests. One fun read is the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. St. Cecelia Catholic School dives deeper into this fantasy world that makes for fantastic summer reading for your child.
Most people are familiar with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s the pinnacle of Lewis’s work, and it’s the first book in the series both by publication year and in reading order.
There are seven total books in the Chronicles of Narnia. In order of publication, they are:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Prince Caspian (1951)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
The Silver Chair (1953)
The Horse and His Boy (1954)
The Magician’s Nephew (1955)
The Last Battle (1956)
The first four books and the final book are in the correct chronological order in both the real-time of World War II Great Britain and in the fictional world of Narnia. The fifth and sixth books occur out of sequence of ordinary time. These are fantasy books, giving readers a chance to escape the real world for a time while following the main characters on their adventures.
The plot of the Chronicles of Narnia follows four siblings in the Pevensie family: Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter (in order of age, youngest to oldest). Lucy stumbles into a magic wardrobe in the house of Professor Digory Kirke, with whom the quartet stays during the most intense bombardments of London during World War II.
The four children, known as Sons of Adam or Daughters of Eve, are prophesied to save Narnia from the clutches of the evil White Witch who is turning the residents of Narnia to stone. They accomplish this with the help of Aslan, a mighty lion who musters an army to fight and defeat the White Witch.
Subsequent books in the series follow the Pevensie children as they grow older and mature into leaders of Narnia, which is a perfect setting for early teenagers going through Catholic School.
The Chronicles of Narnia were written as children’s books. As such, they are very easy to read for middle schoolers in grades 6 through 8. Advanced elementary readers in grades 3 through 5 may also find these books enjoyable.
All seven novels total 768 pages, which makes each book around 125 pages in length.
The books allow for fantastic discussions of Christian themes taught in Catholic School, including death and resurrection, what it means to be kind, what it means to be a savior, and battling powers of darkness. Other themes include the creation story, conversion and restoration of religion, and even the coming of end times.
Parents should discuss these themes with their children to make sure they understand the concepts found in the Chronicles of Narnia. Although these stories are fun to read and serve as allegories to Christianity, they offer learning opportunities for anyone who reads them!
St. Cecelia Catholic School Wishes You a Fun Summer
The St. Cecelia Catholic School wishes you and your family well during these trying times. We hope you have a fun summer! Contact St. Cecelia Catholic School for more information or if you have questions about the upcoming school year.
St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School (SCS) offers an academically challenging and globally minded interdisciplinary education to children in PreK-3 through 8th grade.