C.S.Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are the two series I would take with me to a desert island. So would my husband and all of my kids. The two authors, who were friends, have succeeded in writing fantasy books that recreate the story of God’s creation in their own fantasy worlds, Narnia and Middle Earth. These subcreations, as Tolkien calls them, are every bit as beautiful and terrifying as our own world and as complex. Each comes with its own geography and history, Middle Earth even with its own languages. The peoples of these worlds operate under the same virtues and vices as we do. In both worlds, there has been a fall. In both worlds, a story of salvation takes place. These stories are profoundly Catholic. They are of immense value in shaping the soul of your children and your own as well.
The great genius of Lewis and Tolkien enabled them to write stories of great spiritual value which are also highly entertaining. I have read both series several times throughout the school years of our eight children and I never tire of them. They just get better because we discover more marvels at each reading.
It is wonderful that gifted film director Peter Jackson turned the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit into excellent movies. We enjoy them very much. The Chronicles of Narnia, have been made into TV Series and motion pictures several times. However, the easy attraction of the screen tends to distract from the books. Please do not allow this to happen in your family. Encourage your children to read the books or, even better, read them to your family. It is a much richer experience than watching a movie together.
The sad thing about great books is that they end. Yes, there are other books, but after Narnia and Middle Earth everything else falls short.
The good news is that these books have inspired many authors to create their own fantasy worlds. There is some great stuff out there. We like the following Christian fantasy series: The Archives of Anthropos by John White and The McGunnegal Chronicles by Ben Anderson.
Please tell us if you know others here!