The Lost Magician Resources

The Lost Magician by Piers Torday

Visit Piers Torday’s website

Below are some ideas about how to explore the book’s themes creatively.

Think about what technology might change be like in 70 years’ time. Draw/Discuss a cityscape. Include both positive and negative ideas.

Colour in a unicorn.

Make a Green Man out of leaves and a paper plate.

Discussion Questions

In The Skylark’s War and The Lost Magician, the children are sent away by their parents to look after them and keep them safe. Discuss how childcare has changed with wraparound care.

Contrast scenes of war vs ‘normality’ and carefree childhood. p7,p10-11, p39-40 (hints of war) p66 vs p67 (war vs peace) p75 idyllic childhood.

If you could travel into a book, who would you like to meet and why?

Who were your favourite characters in books when you were little? (E.g. Zog, Gruffalo)

Do you remember being taught nursery rhymes and traditional tales as a small child? Can you share them?

The Lost Magician is clearly inspired by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Do you think this works? How are the books similar and different?

P194 Do you think there is truth in the statement ‘If you can imagine it, it exists somewhere…’ For example, Einstein had to imagine relativity.

Some people maintain that to have a well-rounded education, a child should be taught both Science and the Arts/Humanities. Do you think this is true? Why are Science graduates generally better paid than Art graduates?

P137 other pages about war – Do you think that the experiences of war that the children had e.g. bombing raids, seeing their School bombed and classmates killed will shape the kind of adults they become? Compare and contrast with Reema in The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle.

Some people believe that no books should be censored. However, throughout history, the people in power have banned books. Do you think that all opinions should have an equal right to be heard or is it correct to censor some views?

150 years ago we did not know what was happening in other countries. Is the unrelenting flow of news, wars, famine, atrocities, environmental catastrophe a force for positive change? Was it better to live in ignorance and focus on more local issues?

Prior to the rise of the internet and social media, it was easier to control what people knew and read. Destroying a book could lose the knowledge forever, only surviving through spoken word. Can you narrate a story or poem you love? Are there different versions of the story in your group? (e.g. Little Red Reading Hood). Discuss.

P140 The people who held the knowledge in pre-literate societies were held in high regard as storytellers (e.g. bards); now that we have easy access to knowledge through digital databases do we know too much?

Around the world storytelling is an important part of many cultures. Our perception is that this is less so in modern Britain.  Do your families and cultures still have a tradition of storytelling?

When did the general population of the UK become literate? Does it surprise you? How did this change our understanding and knowledge of the wider world?

This is our chained library. In the past books were incredibly valuable and there were very few of them. Nowadays anyone can be an author. Have books become ‘throwaway’ items? Do you think the world will still have paper books in 100 years? Chethams Library offers tours of their Library, the oldest public library in Britain. Have you or your students visited? What did you think of the place?

Suggested Further Reading

C.S Lewis The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe