15 Feb 2012
A Wrinkle in Time
This is our latest Newbery Challenge read-aloud, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963 (a very fine year). It's a gripping tale, and we're all hanging off every word.
I adored this book and its sequels as a child - did you? Have you read it since?
Does anybody know if it is really, as the trailer implies, similar to Harry Potter, The Golden Compass and The Giver, none of which I've actually read? Certainly at number 22 on the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000 it is quite as controversial as these three books are themselves. It has been banned for containing witches who practice black magic, although in fact the old women in the book are not really witches at all, not even Mrs Which, who is only named that to distinguish her from Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Who. (Well okay - I think she is a traditional black broom-flying witch for a second or two in there somewhere, I remember.) It has been banned for containing crystal balls too, but they're not crystal balls as we know them. Sometimes it is condemned for being overtly Christian in content; at other times for fostering occult practices and for supposedly Satanic overtones.. Goodness - you can't win! Some think it is too Christian; others that it is not Christian enough. L'Engle herself is charged with being too devoutly Christian by some writers, and too liberal by others. (I'm inclined toward the latter view after reading this interview.)
Which brings me back to my question - did you love A Wrinkle in Time as a child? Do you like it now? Do your kids? Do you think it is too Christian or anti-Christian? Is it banned in your home?Does the fact that good triumphs over evil and love wins over hate count for anything? Loyalty, courage, friendship family, and bravery are predominant themes. Siblings even like each other! Does this stand in the book's favour?
Personally, I am not adverse to censoring my daughter's reading matter if I am concerned about her readiness to receive the content, be it because of adult themes or world views contrary to ours that are presented in a confusing way. I am not worried about A Wrinkle in Time. Are you?
A Wrinkle in Time is 50 years old this year. There are 10 million copies in print. It can't be all bad now, can it?
Here's an excerpt.
Come and talk to me. Thoughts anyone?