I remember really liking all of Madeleine L’Engle’s books as a child, so during a roadtrip, we borrowed this in audiobook format from the library and we listened to it. (Bonus: Madeleine L’Engle herself was reading it.) It had been long enough since I last read it, that I had forgotten all the details.
I’m glad I reread it (or, rather, gave it a listen). I was probably too young to note all the anti-Communist propaganda in it the first time, so that was fun to note this time around.
I was also too young to realize that some of the ideas in it are falling out of fashion. This is science fiction, yes, but there are angels, and by implication God. There is good and evil. And–get this–love is the powerful force that wins the day. That’s a nice, Biblical idea I keep seeing less and less of.
So perhaps more modern readers might find this book quaint. Well, I think people need ideas like that, especially in their younger years.
Also, I think this book is especially valuable for gifted children to read. It expresses some of the loneliness that gifted children experience; the confusion of being gifted and yet not being academically successful; and the pure joy in finding a like-minded soul. Looking back, this might be one of the biggest reasons I loved this book so as a child. I, too, was a lonely gifted child.
I’m counting this as a selection for children’s fiction for Amy’s Up and Coming Classics Challenge 2017. Is it a classic? The verdict: This one definitely has an honored place on my shelf. It’s a wonderful book, and a pioneer of children’s science fiction. It’s around for good. It’s a classic.