When I was five years old, my mom–probably tired of repeating Dr Seuss books over and over again–came home from the store and handed me a copy of The Magician’s Nephew. “I wasn’t sure if it would be too scary,” she said, “but I thought you might like to try it.” She would have read it out loud to me if I asked her to, but in a fit of independent spirit I decided that it was time I tackled a real novel all by myself.
I was not a fast reader (yet), but I got all the way to the introduction of Jadis (that scary-looking lady on the cover) on my first try. Jadis scared me, so I stopped for a while. I don’t remember it being very long, although it’s true that time is funny in childhood memories. I had been enjoying the story so much that eventually, to reassure myself, I flipped through the book looking only at the pictures. With the flawless logic of a very girly five-year-old, I decided that no book containing a pegasus could possibly be THAT bad, and immediately plunged through the rest of the book. (“I could lose my job for saying this,” said my kindergarten teacher to my parents, “but have you ever considered homeschooling?”)