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Happy Birthday, C. S. Lewis!

Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund.
Aravis.
Eustace Scrubb.
Jadis.
Mr. Tumnus.

If you show this list to most of my friends, there will be instant recognition. Add Aslan, the White Witch, and Repicheep to the list and anyone who might be confused will figure out immediately that we’re talking about The Chronicles of Narnia.

Like so many others, I was first introduced to the richness of fantasy novels by this series of seven books. The world of Narnia as imagined by C. S. Lewis is something immediately familiar and strange, exhilarating and terrifying, magical and realistic.

I’ve returned to the series many times since I first got the boxed set as a gift in fifth grade, and every return to Narnia shows me something new about the characters—and also about myself. Would I have had the courage of Lucy? Does my selfishness ever make me sound like Eustace? Would I go to the ends of the earth for my friends like Repicheep does?

On what would be his 114th birthday, I have to say thank you to C. S. Lewis for enriching my world by sharing the world of Narnia.

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November 29, 2012