Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankfully Reading

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.

13 comments:

  1. I really need to reread A Wrinkle In Time. That really is a great book!

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  2. OMG -- when my younger brother read Wrinkle in Time (as a similar age that you were), he couldn't stop talking about. In fact it because almost a family joke. For months, he greeted every person he ran in to or met with the question, "Have you ever read A Wrinkle in Time?"

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  3. What a great story! It's been ages since I've read this book. I really need to get my hands on a copy!

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  4. I was also a big fan of this book - I think it helped solidify my fascination with science fiction/fantasy and the way authors can use it to explore things other than science - things like good vs. evil, etc.

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  5. I have never read this. It has been on my I need to get to this book list for a long time.

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  6. I read that book first as an adult. I'm glad I did because I think it would have completely gone over my head otherwise. Great selection!

    Jennifer @ The Literate Housewife Review

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  7. Oh, this is funny! A Wrinkle in Time is one of the only books that I can never get through! Maybe I need to try it for the 10th time because it's one that I've never connected with. But, most people seem to love this one!

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  8. I owe my love of this book to my fifth grade teacher. I have never been a big sci-fi fan, but her approach to this book just made me love it. While it isn't totally science fiction, I think otherwise that aspect would have turned me off had I not read it in her class. Another thing to be thankful for...great teachers!!

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  9. Oh, this is, hands down, my favorite memory from being a kid, at least being a reading kid. I read the entire series and adored every book. I need to go back and revisit the collection. Thanks for the happy reminder and memory!

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  10. Wow, thanks, everybody! I hope you're all enjoying your reading this weekend.

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  11. Love this... and this is by far my favorite cover

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  12. I loved this book when I read it as a child! Interesting to hear what a major influence it had on your life.

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  13. I did not become a big reader until I was an adult, so there are many books, like Wrinkle in Time, that have slipped through the cracks. I first heard of this book in When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (one of my favorites). Thank you for sharing!

    Have a great weekend!

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