A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Original publication date: 1962
This week is banned books week in the United States. All week I will be highlighting banned, challenged, and censored books I own and have read.
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.
Status: Challenged in the United States (citation: #23).
Reason for challenge in the U.S.: Although Madeleine L’Engle is a Christian and writes books with religious themes (one could say they are similar to C.S. Lewis’ “Narnia” series, but more science fiction than fantasy), her books – particularly “A Wrinkle in Time” – have been challenged for essentially being too liberal a brand of Christianity. Reasons given for challenges include characters who are witches (they are not, actually, although one is named Mrs Which), crystal balls (not actually a crystal ball), and for challenging religious beliefs because Jesus is included in a list along with artists, philosophers and scientists (this is a list of people who are trying to bring light to Earth, not of ‘gods’ or some such thing) (citation).
My thoughts: When I first read this book in grade school, I really didn’t get it and wasn’t all the crazy about it, perhaps because of the science fiction elements. I reread it in middle school, though, and have loved it ever since. It certainly never challenged my religious beliefs. I actually also just reread this book in honor of banned books week, and you can see my review here.
Your Turn: Have you read “A Wrinkle in Time” or any of L’Engle’s other books? What did you think? If you are a Christian, does it challenge your religious beliefs for Jesus to be listed with philosophers and scientists as ‘one who brings light to the earth’?
Check out my Banned Books Week Spotlights all week, every day at 2 pm Central through Saturday, Octobter 4th.
Rebecca of The Book Lady’s Blog is doing Banned Books Week Spotlights as well, every morning at 9 am. Check her out as well!