As a child (especially a middle schooler) I had trouble making friends and also like Meg, I commonly thought that “everything was wrong”. This novel taught me so much when I was younger, about love and individuality and acceptance of oneself. I felt that Anna Quindlen said it beautifully at the end of the introduction “On its surface this is a book about three children who fight an evil force threatening their planet. But it is really about a primal battle all human beings face, to respect, defend, and love themselves, (4).” Reading this novel for the second time as a 21 year old I still find many of those themes still relevant. Maybe they will always be relevant, which is what makes this novel so special.
I was curious to find out why this novel was even banned in the first place. What I found was that it was mostly banned for its religious elements (referencing Jesus in comparison to great philosophers and artists). It was astonishing to me that it would ever be banned for such a thing but then looking back I guess I can see why many would be against the novel, because of all of the references to crystal balls and witches. However, I still don’t feel like reading this novel will make any religious person want to stop believing in God and become a witch (that just sounds ridiculous). It’s also important to note that this is a children’s novel. It is not made for adults so anything involving magic or the supernatural sells to kids.
Even though this novel is written for children, I feel it is still a fantastic read for adults. There are a lot of important themes, like learning how to love yourself and accept apologies and understand that even those who are older (like her father) make mistakes. It’s so crucial that children read this novel, because it does explore these themes and many more. It focuses on not only the love of oneself but also the love of family. Also Meg not only learns to accept herself but she learns that it is okay to be different.