Prince Caspian (Book #4)

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (Book #4)
(Summary taken from the back of the book) “Narnia…where animals talk…where trees walk…where a battle is about to begin–A prince denied his rightful throne gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world.”
I liked this book a lot. It has a lot of action and symbolism. It keeps with Narnian themes and is a page turner.

Rated: PG

Recommendation: 12 and Up. 9 or 10 if read as a read-a-loud.

The Horse and His Boy (Book #3)

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (Book #3)
(Summary taken from the back of the book) “During the Golden Age of Narnia, when Peter is High King, a boy named Shasta discovers he is not the son of Arsheesh, the Colormene fisherman, and decides to run far away to the North–to Narnia. When he is mistaken for another runaway, Shasta is led to discover who he really is and even finds his real father.”
I liked this book a lot. The symbolism is not as apparent as in other books, but it is there and almost more meaningful. I definitely recommend it.

Rated: PG

Recommendation: 12 and Up. 9 or 10 if read as a read-aloud.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Book #2)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Book #2)
(Summary from the back of the book) “Narnia…a land frozen in eternal winter…a country waiting to be set free. Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia–a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change…and a great sacrifice.”
I LOVE this book!!!! I love it from beginning to end!! I love the symbolism in it, I love the writing, I love the story, I think it is one of my all time favorites. C.S. Lewis did an excellent job in this book. I highly recommend it! I think it’s great for younger readers, and the best thing is that it is also great for adults! I think it meant a lot more to me when I recently read it because I understood the symbolism, but I remember loving it as a younger reader as well.

Rated: PG

Recommendation: 12 and Up. 9 or 10 if read as a read-aloud. (As in book #1, the symbolism may be over the heads of younger kids, but it would be a great read-a-loud for 10+, or they would enjoy reading it by themselves.)

The Magician’s Nephew (Book #1)

The Magician’s Nephew (Book #1) by C.S. Lewis
(Summary taken from the back of the book) “When Digory and Polly are tricked by Digory’s peculiar Uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. What happens to the children when they touch Uncle Andrew’s magic rings is far beyond anything even the old magician could have imagined. Hurtled into the Wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia.”
I did not know this book existed until after I had read all the other books, so I read it last. I liked it a lot! It explains how Narnia came to be and sets up the rest of the series. I would recommend reading it first, but it was still good at the end. I would definitely recommend this book and the whole series. I love the symbolism.

Rated:PG

Recommendation: 12 and Up. 9 or 10 if read as a read-aloud.  (Great for everyone!!! I think it would be good for kids maybe 10 or older, just because the older children will understand the symbolism a little more.)

Housekeeping

Housekeeping by: Marilynne Robinson This is not a fast read, but it is a very good human interest story. It is sad and depressing at times, but it really makes you think about your life and how you interact with other people. It is the story of a family. Two girls are left on their grandmother’s doorstep, by their mother. The story continues showing how the two girls react to the different women in the family taking care of them. Each girl reacts differently, and it is very interesting to see. I liked this story a lot and would definitely recommend it.

Rated: PG

Recommendation: High School and Up. I don’t think younger children would be interested.

Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn by: Stephenie Meyer This is book number four in the Twilight Series. This book is definitely not appropriate for young adults!!!! In this book Bella and Edward get married, and then do what married people do. Fine for me, maybe, but I do not want my girls reading it as young adults. There are jokes about them being “intimate” and very detailed descriptions about the aftermath (which is nothing like reality….but a young girl would not know that). Bella becomes pregnant, and everyone except her and Rose want to abort the “thing.” Once again, not really something I want a young girl reading. The story is strange but good, and it keeps you reading. Bella’s continuing relationship with Jacob still drives me crazy. I was worried when I started reading, but the ending made it all come together for me. I really liked the ending. Sorry for my strong opinions on this one. The other day I heard a 12-yr-old say she was reading it and I just cringed…

 Rated: PG-13 to R (For language and very adult themes, physical intimacy)

Recommendation: Married and Up. I do not want my young girls to think that “physical intimacy” or being pregnant are in any way like they are in this book. This is NOT for young adults!

Eclipse

Eclipse
by: Stephenie Meyer
This is book number three in the Twilight Series. This book goes through Bella and Edward’s love story. Vampires fight vampires. Werewolves get involved. This book is still very good. I worry about series sometimes, but this one is still really good. I get tired of Bella sometimes, and her relationship with Jacob drives me crazy. But, once again, you just have to read it! This book gets more into adult themes. Bella and Edward are trying to decide how to proceed in their relationship, and I do not think it is appropriate for young adults. At this point I think married women are a more appropriate audience, but that is just my humble opinion.

Rated: PG-13 to R

Recommendation: Married and Up.

New Moon

New Moon
by: Stephenie Meyer
This is book number two in the Twilight Series. Bella continues dating Edward until he breaks up with her, for her own good, pretty much. She falls apart and is “lifeless,” according to her dad. She spends a lot of time with her friend Jacob, who helps her through this time. She still loves Edward, and when Alice, his sister, comes to ask for Bella’s help, she goes with her to help Edward. They end up working things out and getting back together. Edward and Jacob are enemies. As with book number one, this book is a fast read and is well written. I didn’t like it as much as I liked the first one, but it was still really good, and….you just have to read it!
Rated: PG-13 (Some language and adult themes)

Recommendation: Married and Up. This book itself may not warrant the married recommendation, but the last book in the series definitely does, so you don’t want to start a young girl reading it because she’ll want to finish. This series is NOT young adult appropriate.

Twilight

Twilight
by: Stephenie Meyer
A high school student named Bella moves from Arizona to Forks, Washington to live with her father. She meets a beautiful guy named Edward, who turns out to be a vampire. She falls desperately in love with him. Luckily, he lives with his “family” and they are good vampires. They feed from animals, not humans. This book goes through many of the trials that their love affair causes. I loved this book! It is kind of hard to summarize, as it sounds kind of silly when you put it that way, but I thought it was really good. I’m one for sappy love stories, though. And I just found Edward very intriguing. Stephenie Meyer has a very good imagination and, I think, wrote it very well. It is technically a young adult book and is therefore a very fast read, even with its 500 pages. As I said, it is a young adult book….I do not think I will allow my girls to read it until they are older (college age, maybe). It does have some adult themes in it. And if this one doesn’t as much, the following ones do more. The problem is, once you start the series, you’re hooked, and the following books are not young adult appropriate (in my humble opinion).
Rated: PG-13

Recommendation: Married and Up. The series is NOT for young adults or young girls. Parents, please read it first. Don’t give in to your daughters. The last book in this series is not appropriate at all for young adults.