I was a bookish and peevish and generally ill-natured child and one of the many, many things that annoyed me so much that it made me want to jump out of my skin was the part of Madeleine L'Engle's classic children's book, A Wrinkle in Time where our heroine, Meg, travels to a dimension far, far away and ends up on a planet controlled by an evil telepathatic force known as IT, with a capital I and a capital T.
IT captures Meg's little brother, Charles Wallace, and it's up to Meg to save him. She's trying everything she can think of, when, suddenly, she realizes that the way to rescue Charles Wallace is through the power of love. Love. That was what she had that IT did not have.
I read those words and wanted to rip the page into tiny little pieces. Even then I could see that anyone depending on my ability to love would be pretty much out of luck. It wasn't exactly that I didn't have a heart. It was just that it was two sizes too small. Minus the evil and telepathic elements, I had a lot more in common with IT than with Meg. And, while I knew that that wasn't supposed to be the point of the story, that was what it was whispering to me.
What book from your childhood had an unusually strong effect on you? And, if you know, why?