The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis, is a classic that I just read (although I'd seen the movie). I'm reading the sequel, Prince Caspian, now.
In the L., the W., and the W., four ordinary kids--Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy--are evacuated to an old house in the countryside in World War II. In this house, they find in a spare room a wardrobe. Lucy hides in the wardrobe and finds that it is a doorway to the fantastical country of Narnia! Eventually, they all find their way through to Narnia, and are swept up into an adventure where they have to pit their wits and everything else they have against the White Witch! She has made it always winter in Narnia, and never Christmas.
But Edmund had made it to Narnia by himself, and met the White Witch. She had made him think that she was the Good Guy! So he betrayed his siblings, only to find that she herself had planned to betray him...and he became her captive.
The real Good Guy is Aslan, the magical lion. He comes back from over the sea and sets in motion the fall of the White Witch. But she still has a lot of power....
Who will win? What will happen to the children? And will Christmas come?
(of course you've probably read the book or seen the movie, so you know the answers).
I liked this book because of all the action, and because the story was utterly amazing and fascinating. My favorite character, was Peter, the oldest--I could sort of relate to him, because I am an older brother too.
For the next Pickled Times, I'm going to rank this against another fantasy classic--The Lord of the Rings! I might even throw in a few other books.... possibly even Zita the Space Girl....