Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
I have always tried to encourage my children to read biographies, with little success. I was skeptical when given an opportunity to review C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller a book from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series from YWAM Publishing. To my delight, my son eagerly agreed to participate in the review.
C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller is a wonderful look into the life of one of my son’s favorite authors. Having introduced him to the magical world found in The Chronicles of Narnia, he was excited to learn more about the man that crafted such a kingdom.
About the book:
Born in Ireland on November 29, 1898, Clive Staples Lewis was an intelligent and creative child that insisted on being called Jack. Much of his early childhood was spent with his brother Warren. They spent many hours in their attic playroom where they created maps and stories of their own imagined worlds.
Childhood innocence ended too soon for the Lewis boys with the death of their mother. Two other close family deaths occurred within a short period, leaving their father emotionally distraught. The boys were sent to boarding schools and never bridged the relational distance with their father.
Jack was an avid student despite his school environment not always being ideal. He excelled in English and languages with aspirations of college.
The biography goes on to tell of Lewis’ experiences through both World Wars, and his intellectual struggle from atheism to Christianity. He went on to be a literature professor and wrote more than thirty books. Lewis lived during a fascinating time in history. One can see how his life experiences, grief, and faith reflected in his work.
Downloadable Study Guide:
In addition to the book, we received a study guide that offers a number of activities and lessons. The guide contains suggestions for classroom and home learning in the areas of history, geography, essay writing, reading comprehension and more. The guide has enough variety of ideas to find an activity to best fit your student.
How we used the book:
I assigned the book to my high school student Sam. Although he’s not usually a fan of biographies, C.S. Lewis is one of his favorite authors.
Throughout his reading time, I asked Sam chapter questions from the study guide. The questions related to vocabulary, facts from text, comprehension, and open-ended questions to seek the readers’ opinion. As my son is a facts guy, he enjoyed most of the exercise. He didn’t like feeling stretched by some of the open-ended questions, but I appreciated how they encouraged him to go beyond the text to develop his own ideas and understanding.
Once Sam completed the book he wrote a full report. He included his favorite quote that was taken from the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia:
“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
“I enjoyed reading about the life of C.S. Lewis. I can see how his writing was influenced by the events and experiences of his life. I would recommend this book for younger and older ages. It would be good to use as a read-aloud. As Lewis’s life spanned a period full of significant history, it would be a good book for someone that enjoys creating timelines.”
C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller is a wonderful biography. It is a good stand-alone book to study the author or could be a companion study geographically and/or for the time period. We enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
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