Banned Books Week: The Kite Runner & A Wrinkle in Time

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was one of the most challenged books of 2008, and a favorite of Gaby Amador, Associate Director of Admissions at the Law School, who wrote:

kite-runnerI read The Kite Runner shortly after its release in 2004. Khaled Hosseini’s story of a friendship between two boys, Amir the son of an affluent businessman, and Hassan, the son of the family’s servant, reflects the best and the worst in humanity. It is both heartbreaking and beautiful.

The two boys are very different and have very different lives, yet the reader can identify with the boys in one way or another. I enjoyed how the author allowed his audience to follow the lives of both of these boys. Through the boys, the reader learns about Afghan culture, traditions, taboos, and how more alike than different we all really are.

A Wrinkle in Time is the favorite of Debbie Ginsberg, the Law School’s Educational Technology Librarian. The book is listed among the top 100 frequently challenged books of the decade 2000-2009:

Debbie Ginsberg, Educational Technology Librarian

For me, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was a life-changing book. I read it when I was 9. I learned that great novels could be more than just stories – they could also take me on amazing adventures. And it starred a girl hero, to boot! When I was a young girl, there weren’t many adventure books with female protagonists.

I’m floored that anyone would try to ban A Wrinkle in Time from any library, particularly on religious grounds. Unfortunately, many adults misinterpret L’Engle’s fantastical characters and ideas as anti-religion. Some say the book promotes the occult or dark magic. Others claim the book undermines religious beliefs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

L’Engle was a Christian author whose works reflect Christian (admittedly, liberal Christian) ideas about good and evil. L’Engle was active in religion for most of her life. She worked as a librarian at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Many of her papers are stored at Wheaton College in Illinois. In the end, despite many calls to ban her books, today L’Engle’s works are embraced as part of the grand discussion of religious ideas and themes.

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