This was my second reading. I read this book the first time in 4th grade. None of the plot was familiar to me, but it somehow brought my 4th grade year into sharper focus. I can clearly see the classroom, my desk, and where I sat when I read this book.
I was never able to get a hold of the rest of the series and that broke my heart. It was one of my earlier experiences of completely disappearing into a book and it was the first book that spoke to me on another level. It poses questions about family, friendship, courage, loyalty, and fitting in versus being yourself.
It’s also oddly philosophical for a book written for children. I would say it’s religious, but it doesn’t mention any one religion specifically. I’m pretty sure that went right over my head in 4th grade. It’s possible that it still is going right over my head and a more religiously educated reader would know exactly what L’Engle is getting at. I don’t think the inclusion of religion/philosophy/whatever is overt enough to make any difference to a child. I don’t know if kids these days would be into this kind of thing, but I think it holds up. It’s a great book.
By the way, I’m totally getting A Wind in the Door.