A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Stacy M Darwin LSIS 5525 - Dr. Cogdell Assignment 6 – Challenges and Censorship Booktalk.
Stacy M Darwin
LSIS 5525 - Dr. Cogdell
Assignment 6 – Challenges and Censorship Booktalk
"Life, with it's rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. - Mrs. Whatsit" — Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time)
L'Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1962.
A unique family composed of brilliant scientist parents, gifted young child, socially successful twin boys and awkward, but smart, teenage daughter take part in a wild sci-fi adventure to retrieve their missing father and fight universal evil along the way. Lead by three bizarre and spiritual like guides, three children travel through time and space to visit distant galaxies and become actively involved with fighting The Darkness that is waging war both in these unfamiliar places and on Earth.
I found A Wrinkle in Time to be a successful example of blended sci-fi, fantasy and adventure genres. Almost fifty years since it was first published, very little of the novel feels dated. Perhaps the only evidence that it was not written in this decade is the absence of cell phones and the lack of Internet research to explore the theories of quantum physics and tesseracts.
A Wrinkle in Time is one of those novels that are like the many layers of an onion. A ten year old will enjoy the storyline and imagery, and will be challenged by the vocabulary. A teenager will understand more of the theological and philosophical references found in the text. As a first-time adult reader of the novel, I felt as if I were watching a full length child’s movie or cartoon in which subtle innuendos and references are intended for the pleasure and entertainment of the adults in the audience. Merely starting the first page with “It was a dark and stormy night” will probably not denote anything for the elementary school reader, but the more experienced reader will “get” the stylistic play intended by the author.
In addition, when one reads this book with the historical background knowledge of 1950s (when the book was written) social norms and current events, it is incredible that the gawky teenage girl (that is good at math and science) is the protagonist and her two sidekicks are male. Also, the real threat Americans felt concerning cold war and fear or communism brings a whole new dimension to Camazotz and the pulsing IT brain.
Parent challenged book due to feelings that storyline promoted witchcraft, crystal balls and demons.
Challenged due to the listing of Jesus Christ with other names of great artists, philosophers, intellectuals and religious leaders in reference to those that have fought evil on the planet Earth.
Parent complains that book undermines religious beliefs.
(Banned Books Project)
I would not hesitate to have this book in my elementary, middle school or high school collection. I feel it is completely appropriate for older elementary students (4th and 5th grade) and offers even deeper examination for older students.
I also found the theological messages of this book refreshing and completely non-threatening. That being said, my social circle is extremely wide-ranging (from outspoken liberals to die-hard conservatives) and I am certain there could be issues of fault found from both sides. Some would feel it had too much religious messages and others would feel it was lacking.
At the end of the day, it is a book that can stir something in the mind, expand one’s thinking, and spark discussion. That is MY definition of a great book that would deserve a spot on the shelf of the media center I work in!
(Wake County Public School Systems, wcpss.net)
Click here for book talk!
American Library Association. "Library Bill of Rights." 23 January 1996. ala.org. 6 February 2010 <http://ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/statementspols/statementsif/librarybillrights.cfm>.
Banned Books Project. 23 September 2003. 10 February 2010 <http://solonor.com/bannedbooks/archives/001742.html>.
L'Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1962
L'Engle, Madeleine. Religion and Ethics. with Bob Abernethy. pbs.org. 17 November 2000.
Mattson, Jennifer. "Another Look at a Wrinkle in Time." Booklist (2007): 58-59.
Scales, Pat. "When Weeding is Wrong." School Library Journal November 2009: 18.
Thomas, Sally. "Fantasy and Faith." First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life (2007): 15-16.
Wake County Public School System. "Selection and Procurement of Media: Collection Development and Management." 20 November 2008. Wake County Public School Systems. 6 February 2010 <http://www.wcpss.net/policy-files/series/policies/5410-rp.html>.