I'm participating in the "Thankfully Reading Weekend" this holiday weekend and our first challenge question is to write a post about the book we are most thankful for, whether it's just been published or has been out for decades.
It's hard to pick just one, but there is a book that had a huge influence on me. In addition, it's a really great story!
When I was eight years old, my mother (herself an enthusiastic reader) handed me a copy of Madeleine L'Engle's recently published book, "A Wrinkle in Time," and said that there was a little girl in it who reminded her of me. That little girl, Meg, is thrust into an adventure involving her scientist father who has disappeared doing secret government work. In trying to find her father, Meg gets caught up in some space-time travel and finds that she has to use her brain as well as lots of science and math. I still remember how confused I was trying to visualize a tesseract, but I totally believed that Meg understood it.
My mother was right: it really is a good book and won the Newbery Medal later that year. The reason this book makes the cut for the one book that I am most thankful for, is that my mother's comment and Meg's example proved to be quite important to me personally. As my mother suggested, Meg and I were a lot alike and she inspired me.
After reading Wrinkle I moved on from the fairy tales that had been my previous favorite reads to devouring any science fiction book I could find. I immersed myself in Bradbury, Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and on and on. This obsession with scifi continued until well into college when I discovered that actual science (minus the fiction) was the really good stuff.
So, my mother was right: that little girl Meg, who was basically the first scientist I had ever read about, was a lot like me. Or, rather, the me I was about to become.