The first book dedicated to this section labeled “Books for Students” is the 1962 classic, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.
Title: A Wrinkle In Time
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Genre: Science/ Fantasy Fiction
Grade Level: 5th grade and higher
Academic Themes: Inference (Reading), Profundity (Reading) ,Communism (Social Studies)
Christian Themes: Talents, Effects of Sin, Guardian Angels, Vanity, Uniqueness, Empathy, Faith in others, Power of love.
Review: It begins on Earth when three children, Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Cal meet. For being different, they have become outcasts in their community and the fact that Meg and Charles Wallace’s father has been missing for a year makes the beginning of this story even more saddening. As they struggle about their lives, they encounter three women who swift them off into a different galaxy in order to help them find, and save Meg and Charles Wallace’s father, Mr. Murry. Mr. Murry is being held against His will on a planet called Camozotz, where everyone is controlled by “the dark thing,” which is defined by the author as “evil itself.” On this planet, a demonic being known as IT moderates the population by brainwashing them to become similar in every way. If anyone is different, sick, or rebellious, they are done away with on this planet. The reasoning behind this is the same as communism, if everyone is the same, there should be no problems.
Eventually, the children find their father but not until after Charles Wallace is succumbs to IT and becomes evil. Meg and Cal escape before they are overcome by IT to another planet occupied by “Beasts.” During the travel, Meg is infected with the darkness but it eventually nursed to health by the empathetic Beasts who have the power of supreme understanding patience and forgiveness, much like the God of Christianity. After arguments and struggles of realizing the truth from the blind and patient beasts, Meg is nursed to health and sent back to Camozotz to rescue her brother. In the end, Meg saves Charles Wallace through love, which overcomes all evil all darkness and places superior the communication in the hands of people who understand that actions speak louder than words.
This book was written after WWII when communist Russia and China were establishing themselves as world powers. Camozotz is a symbolic representation of communism and the evils it produces.
There is so much Christian symbolism in the book. The only recommendation is that our students first know how to infer and dig deeper into the intellectual symbols before reading this sometimes difficult-to-understand piece.
Paperback: 269 pages
Publisher: Thorndike Press; 1 edition (March 14, 2005)