When the Chronicles of Narnia movie came out back in 2005, I was ten years old and I really wanted to know everything about the movie because all of my friends had already read the books. My mom bought me the seven-book collection that was in one volume. I read the first chapter of The Magician’s Nephew and didn’t understand it. I really liked the movie and then didn’t think about it much after that. When I was a junior in college I decided it was time to try and pick up these classic books. I got my giant book from my mom’s house and when I was back on campus I sat down to start the series. Most people have differing opinions on whether or not The Magician’s Nephew or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe starts the series. I think that it’s best to start with the Magician’s Nephew because it gives you the origin story of Narnia but that is just my opinion (I am open to hearing why you might think the opposite is true). I walked around campus with this ginormous book in my backpack for about two months. I finished the Magician’s Nephew and thought it was so delightful to learn how Narnia came to be. I remember waiting for a class to start and I was halfway through the second book and I almost didn’t make it to class because of how emotionally invested and distraught I was. I didn’t even care that I was sitting on a public bench, crying. I was so wrapped up in the storytelling, the world, the family relationships, everything that was making me want to be a part of Narnia. I didn’t realize how powerful children’s books were. I was an avid reader as a kid, but this was one of the first times in my life I was so captivated by the story. I spent so much time after finishing Narnia, reading and re-reading classic middle-grade books. Some of my favorite books of all time I’ve read as an adult reading middle grade. Who would’ve guessed that several years later I would be recommending books that have drastically changed my life, to your children and grandchildren. I am so honored to be a part of the children’s reading journey in the Wimberley community and I sincerely hope that they find a book that will captivate them in the same way.
Veronica Leal, Youth Librarian