Since I feel groggy and tired, my throwback shall be about a tired, old story. Many (a very many) will disagree with me about this, but I think the Chronicles of Narnia is terribly outdated. I decided to reread the Narnia series, in light of the popularity of the newer film versions and think that I was much better being off leaving the books in the foggy haze of forgotten memories. At this point, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is so embedded in popular culture that to recite the meat of the story here would be silly. In this review, I just want to discuss the feasibility of book-talking this book to a kid.
The main problem that I have with this text is gender roles. The girls are dainty and help out with setting tables, and washing dishes and aren't meant to fight. With hundreds of women in the armed service, it is an insult to the women fighting and risking their lives to suggest that women aren't meant to fight. Peter is given a rather phallic sword and shield and is expected to lead the battle. In the first book, The Magician's Nephew, Andrew must go after Polly because she is a girl and would not be able to get back herself.
Yes, these books are historical classics of children's and Christian literature. Yes, the gender roles depicted in these tales reflect the time period in which they were written. But, no, that does not mean I have to recommend them. I have an extreme aversion to sending the wrong idea about gender to young children still forming their concepts of boy and girl behaviors. They get enough of that on the playground and at potentially in their own homes. The last place they should get that thought is the local library (i.e., the warehouse of open ideas and information sharing). I would recommend other books (whose titles have decided to abandon me at this crucial juncture in my argument) that also place women into stereotypical "girl" behaviors over Lewis's books because they don't explicitly state that "women aren't meant to do" XY and Z the way Narnia books do. The fact that he repeatedly states what behaviors are and are not acceptable when exhibited by one gender is what holds me back.
If someone comes in asking about Narnia, I'll point to the DVD section unless they ask me otherwise. Honestly, I'd be hard-pressed to find a situation where I see myself even pausing on the spine of the book, let alone pulling it off the shelves without prompting.