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'A Wrinkle in Time' 50 years later

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Madeleine L'Engle classic "A Wrinkle in Time."

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While still beloved by many readers, “A Wrinkle in Time” is also one of the most frequently banned books in the United States, according to a list released by the American Library Association. In the ALA’s list of “100 Most Frequently Banned Books” for the decade of 1990 to 1999, L’Engle’s novel came in at number 23. Critics say the book’s battle between good and evil reflects badly on religion.

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But banning the book hasn’t stopped it from being deeply embedded in pop culture – and it’s not going away anytime soon. “A Wrinkle in Time” has been adapted into play form, and a film version was produced by several companies in Canada and aired in the United States on ABC in 2004. The movie starred actress Katie Stuart as Meg, David Dorfman as Charles Wallace, and “Everwood” actor Gregory Smith as Calvin. (L’Engle, who died in 2007, saw the film and later said, “I expected it to be bad, and it is.”) Later, the book cropped up on the popular ABC television series “Lost,” which was famous for referencing classic works of literature. (Con man Sawyer read the book while stranded on the island). A feature film adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” is currently in production at Disney.

And future generations? Author Melissa Wiley, who writes for the blog GeekMom, says she loved the novel so much she couldn’t wait to share it with her kids, who devoured it as quickly as she did and clamored for the sequels.

“Tessering – what a marvel!” Wiley wrote of the book. “And all those Camazotz kids bouncing their balls in perfect unison! Remember how your heart pounded when that one boy lost control of his ball and it went rolling into the street, and his mother totally panicked? I swear, my heart is beating faster right now, just thinking about it. Because this is a book that still tessers me to another world.”

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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