It’s the 50th anniversary of A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle, one of the best books anybody ever wrote. I can’t even remember the first time I read it. It seems like Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin were as much a part of my life as school and homework… sometimes more so. Side note: One of these days I am going to find the perfect stargazing rock and put it in my yard, because every yard needs a stargazing rock.
Madeleine L’Engle’s books are such wonderful flights of fancy, it’s hard to put them down. You can’t Hollywood this stuff – A Wrinkle In Time can really only be appreciated in one’s own imagination. The same is true for the rest of the series. I don’t want to see Progo the cherubim as CGI, and if you tried to re-created IT, it would only look like a brain in a jar a la Star Trek: Return To Tomorrow or Futurama.
Thinking about A Wrinkle In Time had me reminiscing about other favorite childhood books. I’m not sure I can pin down only one favorite, but these are some of the ones that still hold an honored place on my bookshelves.
The Girl With The Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts
Katie has silver eyes and weird powers, and has just discovered that there might be other kids like her. Mrs. M in her muumuus, Lobo the cat, Mr. P, Jackson Jones… they all help and hinder Katie in their various ways as she struggles to find the other kids and the secret behind her powers.
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
When the clock strikes, the door opens onto a magical garden that disappears by day. Tom finds himself traveling back in time into the memories of a girl named Hattie. Is Hattie a ghost, or is Tom the ghost? A story of a wonderful and impossible friendship.
The Ghosts by Antonia Barber
When Lucy and Jamie see the ghosts of two children in the garden, they are thrown into an adventure in which the past must be changed to set things right. The children, Sara and Georgie, died in a fire almost a hundred years ago. Lucy and Jamie have to find out how their ghostly friends died and change the past to ensure their own future.
The Case of the Vanishing Boy by Alexander Key
If I did have to pick a single favorite, this might be it. It’s from the author of Escape To Witch Mountain – now, get the movie out of your head, because the book was SO MUCH BETTER. And this book is better still. Jan has lost his memory and is fleeing from something he can’t remember. He encounters a girl, Ginny, who is blind and yet still appears able to see her surroundings. Together they uncover a plot involving mind control, kidnapping, a mad scientist, and a strange place called Elysium.
What are your childhood favorites? Share in the comments!