The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Magician’s NephewDigory and Polly live in London in the late 1800’s. Digory’s mother is dying and they have been brought to the city to be with her sister and brother while Digory’s father is out of England. Digory is distressed to have left the country and worried about his mother. Polly befriends him when he looks over their adjoining wall.
Digory’s Uncle Andrew is a strange man who hibernates in his attic rooms. Aunt Letty doesn’t allow Uncle Andrew to talk much to Digory. He ignores his sister in her sick room, and barely joins the family for meals.
Polly and Digory decide to go on an adventure exploring the houses. They find themselves in Uncle Andrew’s attic rooms. There he claims to be a magician. When Polly disappears in front of Digory, Uncle Andrew has him caught. Uncle Andrew wants Digory to experiment with his magic rings, and tricks Digory and Polly into it. The adventure turns into something more than he could ever expected. Before they are done, Digory and Polly discover the land of Narnia.
The Magician’s Nephew is the tale of the beginning of Narnia. In my opinion, it is the weakest of the Narnia series. Even so, I have to recommend it as part of the saga. If the books are read chronologically, this one would be first. I recommend the reader follow the original order, with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe being read first. The Magician’s Nephew gives a wonderful picture of the beginning of a new world, in the manner of the Creation Theory. It also shows how normal people react, whether they are silly like Uncle Andrew, can’t resist temptation, like Digory, have to say “I told you so” like Polly, or are imperious and mean, like Queen Jadis.