Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Favorite Banned Books: A Wrinkle in Time

This week, September 27-October 3, is Banned Books Week, a time to honor those authors and their books that have created waves of controversy among the selfish and simple-minded.

Who has the right to tell you what to read? No one. Except me. Put "A Wrinkle in Time" on your TBR list if you haven't already. And spread the word.

"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle was one of my favorites as a pre-teen and I recently re-read it and loved it just as much. It has been challenged and banned by people who believe it's anti-religious (anti-Christian, that is, not Muslim or Buddhist or any other type of religion) and for its references to witches and crystal balls (kind of like the banning of "Harry Potter").

The focus of the book is young Meg Murry whose parents are both scientists and whose father has disappeared. Meg's mother believes he will be back but others are not so sure. They think he has left the family. Meg's younger brother Charles Wallace is a genius but odd, as many young geniuses are. But it is his strange ability that draws three witches to their home: Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which, all of whom can travel through time and space by folding it (tessering - btw, this was my first introduction to space-time theories - it's very easily explained in the book!).

The witches tell Meg and Charles Wallace that they can help them find their father who is stuck on another planet. Meg is wary but Charles Wallace is eager to go. They bring along Calvin, a lanky teen who goes to school with Meg. I always pictured Calvin as sort of a taller, cuter Ron Howard from his "Happy Days" role of Richie Cunningham.

They travel to all different planets and each one is more interesting than the next. My favorite part of the book is when Charles Wallace is being controlled by the evil IT. The young boy is cold and emotionless. In order to save him, Meg must show him love. It sounds a little lame but it works in the book - it's kind of sad too.

Several more books followed in the series but I only read the first one. The rest are on my TBR list.

Tomorrow...Fade by Robert Cormier.