Promotes witchcraft, crystal balls and demons.
Here’s where I foolishly was shocked this week. Why foolishly? Because truly, nothing should shock me when it comes to banned books. But when I was googling around choosing which banned books to write about, A Wrinkle in Time jumped out at me like a punch to the gut. What on earth could anyone find objectionable about this book, unless they objected to the Christian content? But that seemed unlikely because people who object to Christian content in this country usually aren’t book banners.
I loved this book as a kid and read it several times. I only remember two things about with any clarity–the tesseract and what Meg possessed that defeated evil in the end. I’ve gotta tell ya, as a kid, those scenes with 5-year-old Charles Wallace and IT terrified me. And the end filled me with relief and astonishment and joy. That book took me on a roller coaster ride that I rode again and again.
And of course, it turns out that the complaint against it is that this book might endorse liberal Christianity.
Excuse me while steam comes out of my ears.
I am trying to be polite here.
I will repeat what I’ve said before. You have an obligation to protect your kids from anything you feel might be a bad influence on them or might harm them in any way. But that doesn’t give you the right and obligation to make sure my kids can’t read those books in their school and public libraries. I think a lot of people have control issues. (Understatement, I know.) But it confuses me that despite how hard they wave the Bible and the Constitution, they don’t seem to acknowledge that the Saviour they worship told them to keep the two separate. He even said it in red letters!
This is the cover on the copy I read and reread at the Hampton Illinois Library in Dallas, Texas, complete with the golden Newbery Award medallion.
But in my current occupation of building my library, I’m tempted to go with the shallow and get this one.
I haven’t seen the movie. Have you? Was it wonderful? Because if it wasn’t wonderful, I think I’d rather remember the images from my own imagination.
From the wikipedia entry:
Madeleine L’Engle’s fantasy works are in part highly expressive of her Christian viewpoint in a manner somewhat similar to that of Christian fantasy writer C.S. Lewis. She was herself the official writer-in-residence at New York City’s Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which is known for its prominent position in the liberal wing of the Episcopal Church. L’Engle’s liberal Christianity has been the target of criticism from more conservative Christians, especially with respect to certain elements of A Wrinkle in Time….
This novel is on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000 at number 22. Reasons given include the book’s references to witches and crystal balls (although the characters are not in fact witches, and the crystal ball is a science-fictional one), the claim that it “challenges religious beliefs”, and the listing of Jesus “with the names of great artists, philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders”.