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C. S. Lewis' Letters to Children

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,567 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
C.S. Lewis, beloved author of The Chronicles of Narnia, answers fan letters in this sweet collection that shows why he remains one of the best-loved children’s authors of all time.

In his life, C.S. Lewis received thousands of letters from young fans who were eager for more knowledge of his bestselling Narnia books and their author. Here are collected many of his responses
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 3rd 1996 by Scribner (first published 1985)
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Amy
Satisfying and lovely. I don't have many cohesive thoughts, just warmth and satisfaction from reading it. Lewis's letters are encouraging, instructive, and occasionally just about mundane things like the weather.
I love how often he encourages children to write their own Narnia stories. He answers lots of questions about the Narnia books which is nice because every fangirl wants that little bit of more.
I love how intelligently he writes to children. He peppers his letters with references to othe
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Bekah
I envy these children their luck in corresponding with Lewis. The brilliant man died when my mother was only five years old, so I missed out by miles in my chance, but it was wonderful to read these collected responses. Lewis was so humble in receiving praise and encouraging to those who expressed an interest in writing. I was thoroughly impressed by his discussion of theology, how he never spoke down to any of these children, never tried to dumb things down. It also amused me that he even encou ...more
Rissie
Sep 26, 2012 Rissie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It’s a small collection of C.S. Lewis’ responses to letters that children wrote to him about his Narnia books. The letters are so nice … he takes the children and their news/concerns/ideas seriously and responds to them with interest and concern – as though he were responding to an adult. I’d love to get a letter like that even now!
Nick
Jun 07, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: C.S. Lewis fans
I thoroughly enjoyed this slight volume. The intimate and mundane details of Lewis' life are fascinating to me, and it is always helpful to see how others write letters. I'm afraid my letters are rather pedestrian. I highly recommend this book!
Caitlin
Jan 02, 2017 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
One of my absolute favorites!
Rebekah Choat
C.S. Lewis, in addition to being a prolific writer of scholarly works, poems, Christian apologetics, and fiction, carried on extensive correspondence. He considered it a solemn duty to personally answer each of the thousands of letters he received – and not perfunctory, generic, “Thank you for writing; I wish you well.” The responses he penned are truly personal and specific, giving detailed thanks for small gifts, carefully answering questions asked, and thoughtfully addressing whatever issues ...more
Joanne
Aug 25, 2012 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Given how young I was when I first fell in love with Narnia and began to deeply admire C.S. Lewis, it is little wonder that I thoroughly enjoyed the book “C.S. Lewis: Letters to Children.” This wonderful, beautiful compilation of letters he wrote between 1944-1963 to children, including many Americans, paints a lovely picture of a man I’ve never met, but who is, in my imagination, a dear friend. So sentimental in tone, I got a bit teary-eyed at how gentle and sweet he was to his many young fans. ...more
Ruth
Jan 22, 2015 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this collection about fifteen years ago, and at that time I'd only read the Narnia books once and had no exposure to Lewis's other works. This reading, of course, proved a far richer experience. I think the best aspect is witnessing how Lewis expressed his fierce intellect and deep theological understanding in simple language. Case in point, what he says about being who God created you to be in the body of Christ: "A good toenail is not an unsuccessful attempt at a hair; and if it w ...more
Miss Clark
Wonderful book, with plenty of neat details and facts, esp. about his Narnia series.

Excerpts:
22 January 1977

Dear Martin,

The books don't tell us what happened to Susan. She is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman. But there is plenty of time for her to mend, and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the end - in her own way. I think that whatever she had seen in Narnia she could (if she was the sort that wanted to) persuade he
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Jessica
Jan 29, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

I reluctantly settled for it when, after deciding to read all of Lewis, I couldn't find many of his more well-known works at the local library. I was pleasantly surprised.

Furthermore, it was a little fortuitous that I read this before any of his great works; I feel it served as a nice introduction to the author beforehand!

What I especially loved was that it became clear to me through his letters that he was a down-to-earth person despite his success and fame. Al
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Stan Shelley
Apr 30, 2015 Stan Shelley rated it it was amazing
What a marvelous book. Normally I have to really slow down to read CS Lewis but this one reads like a breeze...because, of course, it is letters to children. Lewis writes in a way that is accessible to them but at the same time he does not talk down to them. He is just full of Christian kindness. He answers their questions, give advice if it was requested and seems to genuinely care. The letter he wrote to the little boy who was concerned that he loved Aslan more than Jesus was priceless. And he ...more
Caroline
Dec 09, 2007 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves children
I flew through this book - and when I finished C.S. Lewis became more like a grandfather to me. I have always reveled in his literary genius and theological mind. Yet, to read these letters, I saw quite clearly his passion and love for children. Why else would he painstakingly write letters encouraging and teaching those brave souls who were faithful to correspond?

I only wish I had lived at that time to receive even a nugget of wisdom or jest from this wonderful man!
Rachel
Jan 19, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of letters from CS written to children from around the world. This book makes me want to meet CS Lewis even more than I ever did before. He is so frank, and so open, and so honest in his letters and he so obviously enjoys observing things from a child-like viewpoint, and intellectual discourse even with children... I wish he was still alive when I was young so I could have written to him.
Joshua Brist
Nov 12, 2013 Joshua Brist rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book. I am so grateful that these editors took the massive amount of time and work that it must have taken to compile these very insightful and meaningful letters of C.S. Lewis. I now feel like I understand this man more even after reading his semi-autobiography ("Surprised by Joy.")

I learned, I laughed, and by the end I definitely cried. Five stars.
Ginnie
Sep 22, 2010 Ginnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wanted to ask C.S. Lewis a question it's very possible you will find the answer to those questions it this book. Written in a simple way with little illustrations from his own hand I recommend this to all Lewis fans.
Zack Mollhagen
Apr 25, 2013 Zack Mollhagen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely reminder of the gentleness and respect that Lewis had for children. This book shows that Lewis held Christ's teaching dear, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Mathew 19:14).
Kendall
Jan 22, 2016 Kendall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good. I think that Lewis, in writing to children, is not trying to prove anything; he simply says what he thinks. This gives these letters an aphoristic quality, almost like a collection of proverbs.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 07, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Good.
Anna
Jan 14, 2017 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lewis takes children - and their questions, comments, and criticism - very seriously. He doesn't talk down to them, dismiss their thoughts, and sounds genuinely grateful and delighted by any pieces of writing or artwork sent his way. Demonstrating an even greater level of respect, he gives advice and helpful criticism of their poetry or stories. What an absolute gentleman.
This was a heartwarming read.
Lady Rowena
Jan 22, 2017 Lady Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely delightful book for C.S. Lewis fans. His personality and care for all the children who wrote to him comes through beautifully in this collection of letters. After reading this I concluded that I would really have liked to meet C.S. Lewis.
Mary Lou
Feb 16, 2017 Mary Lou rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Some good writing tips. Lewis doesn't write down to kids -- some of this was over my head!
Nathan Albright
Mar 12, 2016 Nathan Albright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although C.S. Lewis never had any children of his own and was long a bachelor Oxbridge don whose only marriage was a marriage of convenience that turned into something more before his wife died only a few years later, he has had a lasting fame as a thoughtful children’s author, most notably of the seven volumes of the Chronicles of Narnia. It is therefore little surprise, given this skill in writing for children, that Lewis carried on a series of shy epistolary friendships with a wide variety of ...more
Ben
A cute but ultimately dull little collection of letters from CS Lewis to kids, mainly those who knew him (like his god-daughter Sarah) or those who read Narnia. Was interesting to see the letters written to him as the series was being published. His letters discussing poetry and such with 'Joan' and a few others was nice, and his critiques of their works were both well done as an adult and caring as a friend. Ultimately though this collection is too small a sampling, and doesn't contain all that ...more
Margo Berendsen
Jun 18, 2014 Margo Berendsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing, 2014-reads
I gobbled it up in almost one sitting (it's not very long)... I just love Lewis's voice. Loved all the insights into Narnia and a couple of them surprised me (Lewis's opinion of Susan! I guess I haven't read the Last Battle in a while).

Some favorite quotes:

I don't think age matters so much as people think. Parts of me are still 12 and I think other parts wre already 50 when I was 12. (regarding Pevensie children growing up in Narnia).

What matters in books is not so much the ideas as how you a
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Aubrey Bowditch
Sep 17, 2016 Aubrey Bowditch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful and refreshing. It will lift your spirits and give inspiration on how to continue in childlikeness and humility.
Carsten Thomsen
Aug 02, 2010 Carsten Thomsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was in need of some light reading last week - and this book had been on my shelf for several years - I picked it down and started to read - and there was a smile on my face. What a delightful reading, so funny, witty and also a sting in the heart a couple of times where C. S. Lewis explains to the children that his wife is very sick and that his busy visiting her in the hospital.

Some of the children wrote back again and again and you sense the beginning of a beautiful friendship between this
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Briana
Mar 03, 2009 Briana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c-s-lewis
I was feeling sort of down today, but a trip to Half Price Bookstore made everything all better, especially when I found this book! (Plus Letters to Malcolm and a G.K. Chesterton book! Chesterton books are ridiculously hard to find...)
I have a thing for C.S. Lewis books...yeah, I don't need them, but they're cool to own...

This book only took about an hour, but it made me feel so much happier...sort of the same feeling that I got from Letters to an American Lady, except more heartwarming. With L
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Aedan Lake
May 14, 2011 Aedan Lake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enlightening, amusing and sometimes moving series of letters sent by C. S. Lewis to his younger readers (some godchildren or children of friends, others simply young fans) from 1944 to 1963 - the last one written a day before his death. A quick read full of insights into writing and religion, and although most of the letters understandably relate to Narnia, there are fleeting references to the Science Fiction Trilogy (which I have read) and Lewis's favourite of his own books, Till We Have Fac ...more
Meredith
Very interesting. Who knew that C S Lewis disliked Cicero, read Pride and Prejudice numerous times, and agreed the Chronicles of Narnia should be read beginning with "The Magician's Nephew" and ending with "The Last Battle"? An order, by the way, I would also recommend.

I didn't read all the letters and it was very short, so I won't be counting this one for my annual book challenge.

Things that could have made it better: Letters FROM the children rather than only letters TO the children(apparentl
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Susan
Dec 25, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: Karen
Shelves: childrens, tbr-list
What a wonderful surprise for these lucky children to find a letter from C.S. Lewis in the mail. The letters in this short selection are thoughtful, humorous, truthful, and delightful even second hand.

"I am so glad to hear that you liked the Narnian books, and it was very good of you to write and tell me that you did. Everyone is pleased, you know, to be appreciated, even elderly authors!"

"I'm afraid I've said all I had to say about Narnia, and there will be no more of these stories. But why do
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th ...more
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“In writing. Don't use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was "terrible," describe it so that we'll be terrified. Don't say it was "delightful"; make us say "delightful" when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, "Please will you do my job for me."

[Letter to Joan Lancaster, 26 June 1956]”
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“Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.” 33 likes
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