I wish I had read this when I was young. I really can't think why I didn't. It has many of the elements that make stories appeal to young readers...magic, time travel, the unpopular smart kid. It is a fun story that would have appeal at that level alone.
What I saw beneath the story, however, were some important ideas and points that all childen and many adults need to hear over and over again. Different is not less; being the same might seem more comfortable, but it is limiting. The idea that happiness can be had by being just like everyone else, is a foolish misconception. Happiness really comes from striving, working, choosing, reaching and loving. If there is pain with that (and there might be), it is worth it.
I had heard so much about this book from others, that I was happy to find it was enjoyable and meaningful, even at this late date.
What a clim@x. Unforgettable. Powerful. And so transformative. This is an engrossing fantastical story with such vivi
d characters. Meg especially with her stormy strong nature is a highlight but every character here hooks into the mind. I have a feeling if I read this as a child that this would have been a five star read, but as an adult I got snagged on the author giving equal weight to Jesus, Shakespeare, Buddha, Gandhi and Beethoven.
This is never theless an excellent demonstration of how to weave religious/philosophical themes into a story so that they enhance the narrative rather than smother it.
Because the struggles here are so real - Meg against herself, society and school - and the theology is off-center I will hold off reading this to my young children for now (more suitable for tweens?) but I very much enjoyed this.