Fifth grade. La Paz Elementary School. I still remember sitting, wide-eyed
with wonder, as our teacher read to us of a strange and mysterious world. Day after day, we all gathered eagerly on the floor, ready to become immersed in a land filled with tesseracts, characters with odd names like Aunt Beast and Mrs. Whatsit, and a young, rebellious high-school girl named Meg who ultimately saves the planet.
Of course, I’m talking about the Newbury Award winning A Wrinkle in Time, written by Madeleine L’ Engle in 1962. This book was my first introduction to science fiction. After reading it in school, I remember snatching my older sister’s dog-eared copy from her room, so that I could log some serious mileage of my own on those pages. I mean, what’s not to like? A Wrinkle in Time features an amazing world chock full of equally amazing themes: love conquers all, the importance of personal responsibility, and fighting the pressure to conform. And as if that isn’t enough, the novel also hits on good vs. evil, courage, and integrating faith with reason.
You’d think a book like this would be accepted and adored throughout our country, right? Wrong. A Wrinkle in Time, like so many other childhood favorites, made the 100 Most Challenged Books list of the 1990’s. Number 22, to be precise. What a sad, sad thing censorship is—I can’t imagine having to grow up without this classic science fiction fantasy to keep me company.
Please, do yourself a favor—go to the American Library Association’s Most Frequently Banned Books page. Read the list, and then read the books. Have your children read the books. By doing so, you’ll help us fight conformity in our own world—and make Madeleine L’ Engle proud.
by Debra Driza