The death of Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time (hardly only a book for children, but one that will propel them into the biblical faith quite nicely), feels to me like the passing of a grand old aunt, the likes of whom I always assumed would die one day, but one I'd hoped would accompany my own adult years for as many as possible.
Her multitude of books bolstered my younger adult years through pastoral ministry (an arid affair), assuring me of a wider, bolder, less parochial world of reality than ducking into the office, seeing to next Sunday's bulletin and the monthly newsletter, attending the local ministerial association meetings, and talking with a high-maintenance member about the incredible importance of their rather meaningless life.
I am the first to admit that my description of the (Protestant) pastoral ministry tells more about me than about the importance of the vocation, but L'Engle's assurance of the vitality of a sacramental faith (she was a life-long Episcopalian) as well as my enduring yearning for a deeper experience of Transcendence drove me inextricably into the arms of the Catholic Church and the fullness of the faith. If any are looking for someone to blame for my conversion, Ms. L'Engle is a co-conspirator, albeit completely unbeknownst to her.
An interview (2006) with mentions of Harry Potter. The NYT obituary.
My dear Ms. L'Engle, Requiescat in Pace +