By Madeline L'Engle
Nick, Euly and I read A Wrinkle in Time, snuggled together on the couch. Ceci floated in and around the room as I read, Nick and Euly hung on to every word, suggesting I continue reading from the moment they awoke. I didn't have this book in mind when A Wrinkle in Time popped in my head. I read it when my big kids were little and loved it. Then, I confess, I was influenced by Michale O'Brien's Landscape With Dragons and his views against L'Engle, so I let her books fall into a donation box many years ago. I didn't want to expose my kids to the wrong kind of fantasy. Over the years, I started trusting myself, trusting what I read and how I read it. This was a story I wanted to share with Nick and Euly before we reached older scifi. The kids loved it as much as I did. Taking some warnings from my memory, we probably won't read more of the series, but this first story was worth rereading.
The awkward teen, Meg, has trouble in school, because (she should have been homeschooled!) she already was so advanced in subjects like math that to learn it the easy way the school presented problem solving bored her, and so she stayed in trouble while her genius parents battled mysteries of the universe.
No one can not fall in love with her family, the reader is brought in and welcomed. Her younger brother Charles Wallace will be a favorite. He is ours.
They discover tessering, not time travel, but intergalactic space travel, wiggling, which they find is difficult and dangerous and leads to an exciting adventure having a good versus evil battle, with support in the form of angels and the kindness of strangers.
I think it satisfies O'Brien's elements of not confusing good and evil. Self sacrifice, bravery and adventure as long as you don't dwell and over analyze. The only complaint heard here: it ended too soon. I'm sure you know what I mean.
The Iron Spy
by Joan Stromberg
Set in 1875 in hills of Pennsylvania. With an accident shaking the mill town asking the questions if it was caused by Molly Maguire terrorism. A Catholic family story. I was bothered by lying and stealing justified by our heroine because she was playing detective. I don't think it served the story well, and set a bad example by a twelve year old girl, who is old enough to know better.
Euly and Nick both liked the story, but felt they solved the mystery midway in the book. It may be written for a younger audience, but then there is the lying and stealing and snooping you'd have to explain to someone younger...!
To help with math terms, we read several books by Cindy Neuschwander
My kids know radius, diameter and other terms -forever- because of these stories.
Linking with Jessica at Housewife Spice for WWRW.