Why Was A Wrinkle in Time a Banned Book?

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  • 0:02 Banned Books
  • 1:07 A Wrinkle in Time
  • 1:40 Undermines Christian Worldview
  • 2:30 Too Religious
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kelly Beaty

Kelly has taught fifth grade language arts and adult ESL. She has a master's degree in education and a graduate certificate in TESOL.

'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle was published in 1962. Since that time, it has consistently made the American Library Association's list of frequently challenged or banned books. In this lesson, you will find out why.

Banned Books

In an interview with PBS in 2000, Madeleine L'Engle held nothing back as she discussed book banning. She said, 'Hitler and his cohorts started banning books and then to killing people. What you ban is not going to hurt anybody, usually. But the act of banning is.'

This was a subject that was all too familiar to this award-winning author. Her book A Wrinkle in Time had been and continues to be challenged every decade since its publication in 1962.

Individuals or groups can challenge a book's inclusion in a library or curriculum if they feel that it has inappropriate content for its intended audience. If libraries and schools determine the challenge is valid, they may decide to ban the book, or keep it off the shelves. Common reasons for challenging books include sexual content, profanity, violence, religious content, and material deemed 'Satanic' or 'occult.'

Needless to say, book banning is unpopular unless you are the one calling for the ban. Some libraries and bookstores even celebrate 'Banned Book Week' by encouraging people to read books that others have banned.

A Wrinkle in Time

So what would anyone find offensive in A Wrinkle in Time? The story beautifully combines elements of science fiction, fantasy, and realistic fiction to tell a tale of good winning out over evil. In fact, this book won L'Engle a Newbery Medal for her contribution to children's literature.

It seems that the concepts of 'good' and 'evil' are not as clear for adults as they are for children. Good is only good if it matches up with your religion. Evil is anything that does not fit into what your religion sees as good. Clear as mud, right? Let's examine some aspects of A Wrinkle in Time that have led to it getting challenged and banned.

Claim: Undermines the Christian Worldview

There were some that claimed that the book undermines the Christian worldview. In the novel:

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