I last read this book when I was still a child. I was prompted to a re-read because of the release of the movie, so I could compare and contrast.
While I believe the movie was worthy in its own right, it really shouldn’t be taken as representative of the book, which deals with deeper and more complex themes than Disney would dare to touch.
My child-self identified strongly with Meg, who was becoming what she would be and was stuck in an awkward stage between. My adult self resonated with the deeper themes; the interconnectedness of all life, the need to reach out in love against hate, the cosmic consequences of doing so.
And not in that vague New Agey kind of way, either. The kind of way that realizes that compassion actively practiced changes the landscape, and makes the world a better place for everyone.
If you think watching the movie is sufficient, I’ll just point out that in no way did the movie even touch on the beauty of the self-sacrifice of a star, giving its life to fight Darkness.
Give this book to your children when they start asking you about good and evil. Give this book to your children when they start picking up racism or other forms of prejudice. You’ll change a life.
And if you read it as a child, do yourself a favour and read it again.