What Comes After Narnia?

I love it when others write my posts for me.

This question is from an anonymous mother of four (let the guessing begin…) which I thought would be better answered by some of you than I could do. So help me (and this mother) out!

Last night my husband finished reading the last of The Chronicles of Narnia to our two oldest girls (ages 9 and 6). He’s looking for another fantasy series that is “just as good”. He’ll be hard pressed to find that, I know, but I’m trying hard.

So, questions for you:

1. Do you think nine and six are too young to hear The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings? I read them so long ago that I can’t remember. My gut is telling me that while The Hobbit would be great right now we need to wait a little on LOTR.

2. Do you know anything about The King of Trees? I heard that it is Christian allegory written to bridge the gap between Narnia and LOTR. I haven’t read them.

3. Any other Narnia-type-fantasy-Christian-allegory-series that you would recommend for evening read-aloud time? We’ve done George MacDonald and Nesbit already.

She’s given me until Friday morning to answer. Can you help?

3 thoughts on “What Comes After Narnia?

  1. Seth

    If you are looking for a good fantasy series, I think that The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander is a good choice. It has been some time since I read them, but they were written for children, so I don’t think that they are as intense as LOTR. The main character is Taran, a boy who longs to be a hero. Eventually, through a recognition of his own inadequacy, he succeeds. They are loosely base on Welsh Mythology says the infallible font of all knowledge, Wikipedia. I remember reading them all several times and enjoying them immensely, though I may have been older than 6 and 9. A catholic blog I found has an exaustive list of potentially “Objectionable” material, but they also list a boy befriending a girl and trying to protect her and “A girl kisses a dwarf on the head” as “Adult Content”. All this to say that I loved them, and I think that others will also.

  2. MagistraCarminae

    FWIW, we think the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings is a bit intense for 6 and 9: there are some downright frightening sections!The Prydain books by Alexander are excellent, but perhaps not exactly “like” Lewis in Christian content. However, these were some of our favorite read-alouds!We would recommend the Princess and the Goblin and the Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald, for one. These are some of the only books I recommend in the abridged, as MacDonald needed a good editor…If you want Christian allegory, there are two books by David and Karen Mains called Tales of the Kingdom and Tales of the Resistance. Not great literature, but fun stories.And for pure fantasy story fun, you might look at the Redwall Books by Brian Jacques. They are a bit formulaic, and not neary as good as the Lloyd Alexander books mentioned above, but full of adventure.Ben suggests the children’s books by Mark Helprin: A City in Winter, Veil of Snows, and Swan Lake. I haven’t read those.HTH-Chris and Dave

  3. TulipGirl

    Coming late to this. . .There is so much brilliant children’s literature, that I like to be careful to read as much literature aimed at younger children in the younger years as I can. It seems older children lose the taste for “younger” books, and only rediscover how wonderful they are when they are adults.One of our favorite read-alouds, while not fantasy, is an adventure story — Helen Taylor’s adaption of the classic, “Little Pilgrim’s Progress.”I’ve also read The Hobbit aloud to the boys. I agree with MC that they can be intense. In principal, I’d probably wait until the children were a little older to read it — but we really liked it a lot and my boys were pretty young when I read it to them!Another not-quite-fantasy book that we’ve enjoyed is D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, which the boys call the Hilarious Book of Greek Myths. (D’Aulaire’s can sound like Hilarious when you’re just a kid!) I respect that some families prefer to wait until their children are much older to introduce this sort of mythology, but we found it a good foil for talking about what we DO believe and why people believe otherwise.Hubby introduced me to The Chronicles of Prydain. His mom read them aloud to him. (For locals. . . The Goodwill Bookstore tends to have these in stock regularly.)I have the unpleasant affliction of falling asleep when I’m reading aloud in the evening, so we haven’t done much of it lately. But we did listen to the Brian Jacques books on tape together a year ago or so. The boys loved them. I heard about the series first from Jerram Barrs — and have a copy of his booklist for children posted here.

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