A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)

ISBN: 0312367546
ISBN 13: 9780312367541
By: Madeleine L'Engle Anna Quindlen

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Genres

Childrens Classics Currently Reading Fantasy Favorites Fiction Sci Fi Science Fiction To Read Young Adult

About this book

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger."Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem. A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal.

Reader's Thoughts

Khalid

A Wrinkle in Time is a children's fantasy novel with a significant element of science fiction; its thoughtful ideas, intriguing plot and amusing conversation style make it enjoyable to read; yet, it often borders on being overdone.The novel tells us about Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin, and there travel in the universe in order to rescue Meg and Charles Wallace's father. Just like every rescue novel, this was not exactly easy. The novel was generally good; however, it had some problems in my opinion. I do not like it when novel try to push knowledge down your throat, especially on matters like religion. They do that a lot in children's novels, assuming that children aren't smart to pick up implications on their own (so they just put it right out). Children are smart, and they do understand; we should not underestimate them. This novel did try that with many subjects, not just religion. My other problem with this novel is how far the author's imagination gets sometimes. I like some imagination, and don't mind it, but this gets too much. A good fantasy novel, in my opinion, should give the reader enough enforcement of the world rules they have already been shown before bringing up new rules or exceptions. Why is it almost different every time they tesseract? The story doesn't give enough feel of consistency.

Vicki

L’Engle, Madeleine,1962. A Wrinkle in Time. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The children of scientists, Meg and Charles Wallace Murry are both extraordinarily intelligent and unique. Four-year-old Charles Wallace, who lets people continue to think he’s a moron because it “gives people something to feel smug about” and sees no reason to disillusion them, has the special ability of being able to communicate with others without hearing them speak. Meg, a math wiz who is frequently getting into fights with other children at school, spends most of her time thinking about her father who has been missing for the last few years. Along with the help of three unusual characters – Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which, the children embark on a journey through the fifth dimension – the tesseract, to save Mr. Murry from a mind-controlling brain called IT. This science fiction/fantasy novel portrays characters that have compassion and integrity. The fate of the world rests on the children’s shoulders, but they are empowered through the use of their own personal qualities – communication, logic and love. Value is placed on individuality, loyalty and courage, and even though the children doubt themselves at times, in the end, their determination conquers evil. The concepts and beliefs introduced in A Wrinkle in Time are still significant and time has done little to alter the relevance of the message. Each character in the book has an individual voice made real through the use of dialogue and character description. This Newbery Medal Winner is the first of four books in the Murry family series. Readers who enjoyed Lois Lowry’s The Giver may also like this book. Ages 10 and up.

Wealhtheow

Meg has glasses, braces, an incredible talent for math, and absolutely no patience for bs or mediocrity. She protects her genius little brother, Charles Wallace, against the cruel taunts of the villagers. And she gets into fights over her parents' reputation on a weekly basis. She is pretty much the best character in the entire world. I would read a novel about her even if it were about the mundanities of village life. Instead she, Charles Wallace, and her schoolmate Calvin (smart, handsome, popular--and dirt poor) become involved in a battle that spans time and space. So basically, this is the perfect novel. I recommend this to anyone, especially kids in the 3rd-6th grade.

Keith Mukai

This is a short, easy read that rates a 4.4 on the Flesch-Kincaid reading index (meaning that it requires a 4th-5th grade reading level). But that's based strictly on the sentence structure, vocabulary, paragraph size, etc.What the stats don't cover is the depth of feeling and the profound scope and meaning in this book. Madeleine L'Engle's sentences may be rather simple but her notions of good, evil, love, and devotion are taken to a cosmic level (literally). This isn't mere sci-fi or fantasy; it's gorgeous, breathtaking Humanism. L'Engle never talks down to her child/young adult audience; though she aims at their level there are plenty of weighty, inspiring themes for adults to savor. The child-centric focus gives it a level of simplicity, yes, but also a kind of intense purity. She brilliantly weaves in issues relating to childhood, adolescence, parent-child relationships, maturation, acceptance, social stigma--all of which make the book utterly relatable, even when the kids are transplanted to fantastic or awful new planets in far off galaxies.There are some religious overtones, but they're really more cosmic than religious (even the stars in the galaxy are fighting the great darkness). She uses some of the language of Christianity to express her notion of universal love, but I don't think that should be seen as making this a Christian text. As an agnostic-bordering-on-atheist none of the language turned me off. Christians are free to embrace it as a wildly expansive view of Christianity but non-believers should be able to see that she has a vision that goes beyond the language used.I can't do the book full justice here. Just pick it up and engross yourself in it. It's only about a 4 hour read for most adults and easily well worth it.Do enjoy.

Jessica

"It was a dark and stormy night."After reading on a friend’s blog that she had recently read this book, I was tempted to do a re-read myself. I was sure I had read it at some point in my childhood, and remember finding it magical and engrossing. So when I came across the book in the thrift store for 99 cents, I couldn’t resist. Once I started reading it, though, it became clear to me that I had probably never read this book before in my life. Not one thing about it seemed familiar to me, except maybe for the centaur-like creatures (but that could be because the book cover features this image). Even though I would have read this more than a decade ago, I still think I would have remembered something about it (for example, I remember aspects of Maniac Magee quite clearly, and I read that ages ago). So I’m not quite sure where I got the idea that this book was fantastical and wonderful, but those were my expectations going in.I’ll admit I was a little let down. I did keep in mind while reading that it’s a children’s book first and foremost, but I couldn’t help but feel that it was a little disheveled in places. I loved that the protagonist is female, and quite ordinary (braces, mousy brown hair, glasses), even if she was slightly annoying at times (I imagine all 14-year-olds can be annoying). Time travel is always cool, and the unfamiliar planets (especially Ixchel with its sightless, faceless creatures) were incredibly fun to imagine. The crazy Mrs Ws were very interesting, and if their stories are continued in further books in the quartet, I’d be all over that.The story itself is great – the classic battle of good versus evil in a sci-fi / fantasy setting. The manifestation of evil as a dark cloud reminded me of The Nothing from The NeverEnding Story (loosely). The themes of individuality, love, and acceptance carried strongly throughout; even though they were almost shoved in the reader’s face, I’m ok with that since it is a children’s story.What I didn’t like, primarily, was the character of Charles Wallace. For some reason, he really creeped me out. I understand he is supposed to be “gifted,” but his words and actions seemed far too adult for a 5-year-old. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the religious references made in several places in the story. Too many mentions of “God” turn me off. However, I am willing to admit that it was quite daring of L’Engle to mix religion with some pretty heavy pagan aspects, like witches and crystal balls. Overall, I did enjoy the story and definitely appreciate the themes and values, I was just turned off a little as an adult reader. I also spotted the aforementioned Maniac Magee in said thrift store, but I’m hesitant to re-read that book because I’m worried it might not be the same to me now as it was when I was young.

Eileen Dougherty

As a child, this book opened up new worlds to me, quite literally almost, that I had never imagined. Madeline L'Engle became a goddess who guided me through the imagination using science as a light. Not that I grew up to be a rocket scientist or anything, but this book really electrifies the mind with its possibilities and bends preconceivced thought regarding reality, devotion and love. Last year, I read it again to my son. It was a new discovery to re-read it as an adult as well as being able to witness its magic working on my son. One of the most wonderful qualities of this book is its treatment of children. They are not to be "seen and not heard" nor are they swept aside by the adults. They are valuable, intellgent, in fact quite gifted, quirky and excruciatingly brave. There are so many layers to this intelligent and beautiful book that appeal to all ages. Madeline L'Engle is a master of literature. If you missed this book as a child, I urge you to read it again as an adult.

Cary

Before anything else, I'd like to remind myself why I've been really meaning to read this book. This a Newberry medal award winner in 1963, and since most of the Newberry Medal books that I've read were really good, i assumed I will also find this one entertaining.However, contrary to my assumption, I did not find it as entertaining although I really appreciate how it was written in such a way that you will really have to pay attention it and exercise your imagination to the highest level while reading it so i think this book is just OK.

Blair

Part of the way through this book I started wondering if the secret of writing a book for children is in the careful deletion of details. Maybe children aren't so closely tied to the words on the page and you must let them invent their own reasons for things - if the characters are there interacting, then it must be for a good reason, to say so explicitly would be to destroy the imagination. But I can't say this is the case with other children stories I've loved, including Little House on the Prairie and Chronicles of Narnia. The authors of those books make the effort to explain the connections between things, the motivation behind the action. The author of A Wrinkle in Time performs a literary tesseract (to use a term from the book) again and again. When the author wants to get from here to there, she merely brings the two together and, presto, it is done.

Michael

I can see why this book is a children’s classic; the adventure, intrigue and fantasy world combine together to make a truly fantastic novel. This is the first time I’ve read this book and I do feel like I missed out on experiencing this as a child. The three children in this book are great characters, not the typical sweet kids you seem to find in children’s stories; these kids have flaws and have been told to embrace them. Through their adventures to Camazotz you find that all the kids talents work together to help each other; Calvin shows an interest in philosophy, Meg with her talent for mathematics and Charles' intellectually curious. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the intrigue kept pushing me through this book. The weirdness of the plot and the world reminded me a little of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass and how much I enjoyed reading that book. Don’t let the fact that this is a Children’s classic stop you from reading this book; like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland this is equally enjoyable to read as an adult. The philosophical and religious metaphors in the book would make this the perfect book to dissect and explore deeper.

Prospero Zaccarias

For those looking for a TLDR version of my review, I can sum up this book in one word:Pulp.If allowed, I might also add:Meh.If A Wrinkle in Time were not lauded as a classic, and were instead given the far more accurate description of Christian pulp fantasy, I wouldn't have an issue with the book. After all, no one complains about flank steak until you try to pass it off as a prime cut. Everything about the book is pulp: the prose, the character, the plot, the dozens of contrivances only acceptable to an uninquisitive mind. It has a lot in common with those trashy vacation reads where the reader is silently prodded to just go with it so they can get the emotional pay off of a patently absurd climax and resolution. It might entertain - though I wasn't - but it cannot be called good.The prose is particularly inexcusable exactly because it won an award; the 60's really must have been a different time if lines like, 'something like a horse but at the same time completely unlike a horse,' could win you awards. Description like this is lazy, and endemic in the book. Either it's like a horse, or it's not; imagine your confusion if someone said, 'I saw this guy on the street, you looked just like you, except completely not like you.' And when she's not using the 'somehow' school of description to get around whatever deficiency prevents her from actually using words, L'Engle falls back on the tried and true school of tell not show:'There was something about the way he said "IT" that made a shiver run up and down Meg's spine.'Did he wave his hands around? Did you use a spooky high pitched voice? Was he communicating fear? Awe? An awkwardly sincere veneration? I teach fifth graders who have better descriptions than this. And while we're on the topic of lazy, there is exactly zero character development in the book. Characters are essentially the same people at every stage of the book, no matter where they go. After being whisked away by weird old ladies to an alien world, where they fly on the back of a cenaugusus into space the kids are ... exactly the same. I get that it's a kid's book, and it's not meant to have the deep psychological realism of mature writing, but that's the best we can do for character reaction? No panicking, no freaking out, no crying to go home, just characters going with it because that's how we advance the plot. What's particularly ironic is L'Engle's (mis)use of tesseracts when she can't even get her characters to have two dimensions. Take, for instance, Calvin. He meets Meg and Charles for the first time, having heard all manner of nasty rumors about them, and within twenty minutes is saying:'"Lead on, moron," Calvin cried gaily. "I've never even seen your house, and I have the funniest feeling that for the first time in my life I'm going home!"'Meg gets into fights at school on a regular basis, and clearly has no problem decking boys, so why is he letting some gangly, red haired punk call her little brother - who she will eventually risk her own life to save - a moron less than an hour after they met? No matter, though, because Calvin is instantly welcomed into the home and reads Charles a bedtime story. Because that's how we advance the plot.And speaking of the plot, I won't bother to review it, when the Noising Machine's blog did it better than I:The story revolves around a family of superior people. Each family member is quite intelligent, perhaps genius. At least one of the children is a telepath but his mother, supposedly a scientist, seems totally uninterested in understanding his ability. Not only is the family superior in intellect but in manners and wisdom. The rest of the town gossips, while these wunderkinds are content to let people think they are stupid or freakish. The youngest child, although only five, has the vocabulary of a college student even though he can’t read. His insights are incredibly mature, as well – in fact, there is practically nothing about him that is believable in any way. (http://thenoisingmachine.wordpress.co...)The ethnocentric bias of the book is palpable and embarrassing, and dates the book to an age when American authors wrote for an American made of WASP's and no one else. All characters are White; yes, ALL of them. On the other side of the galaxy we find ... White people. The least she could have done is throw in a babelfish, or translator microbes, or the f-ing Tardis translating languages for you. The kids are whipped around space by magical women, they could have just cast a spell to translate all languages and breathe all atmospheres. But instead, it just sits there, reinforcing the idea that everywhere you go is America(tm). And speaking of the magical women, why are they all married? They're not married, so shouldn't they be Ms? It seems trivial, but it sends another message loud and clear: all women are to marry. Even dead star angels are married. To Jesus, if necessary.This book was read to me by my father when I was a child, so it actually hurts a bit to give it such a bad review. Some kids might like it, certainly enough people have rated it highly, but I simply cannot get past how bad it is. People like Two and a Half Men too, but that doesn't make it good, and it doesn't make watching it a good use of your time. If you want to read a book with your kids, pick another. There are more than enough modern, well written books full of believable and relatable characters out there that you should never have to pick up this piece of pulp nonsense and try to pass it off as a classic.

Philip

My favorite theme/topic in books is time travel. I've always thought it would answer all of the arguments in the world. I mean, Hawking says it's possible, right? And generally, scientifically speaking, his word is gold. Granted, he did say one time that the absence of tourists from the future is a pretty good argument against it. Well, besides... it's not like time travel doesn't exist... it's just that we only know how to progress (and often regress) forward through it.So, I liked this book for what it brought to the time travelling table. And believe me, there's already a lot there... just google it if you don't believe me.I read the fourth (and I think it was the final) book of this series when I was a kid. I loved it. I don't know why I never got around to the beginning.I wasn't a big fan of the plot itself, or even the characters... huh... I'm starting to wonder if 4 stars is too generous. Nah. Time travel takes the cake for me. Takes the cake.

Sara

the book that first inspired me to tentatively pick up my pencil and my marbled black-and-white composition notebook (remember those?) and write (in 4th grade). the influence l'engle herself and her work have had on my life cannot be understated. i met her many many years later, during college, when she was well into her 80s, but she was exactly as i pictured her-- spirited, engaging, challenging. when i (very nervously and shyly) told her that she gave me my first inspiration to write, she looked me in the eyes and, with a genuineness in her tone i can't describe, thanked me. i gave her my book to be autographed. she signed in it an handed it back to me. as i walked away, i read her inscription, which said, with love and a flourish, "ananda!" i admit it-- i had to look it up to find out what it meant and when i did, my respect for her grew even deeper (i won't get into the entire background of the word/name here, you can google it yourself). "ananda" means bliss or joy. it was so perfect, i nearly cried. an amazing book and an amazing woman.

Lindsey Weise

I passed over these series as a child, although I remember wanting to know what the hype was about. I finally picked up this first book and gave it a try. I'll just come out and say it: I was almost annoyed with how bored I was reading this. I'm really confused as to why it was such a big deal! It felt like a short story! I've read a lot of children's books and none of them felt this...lackluster in regards to the content inside the story. I'm not saying I disliked the characters or the events. Those were fine. It felt like someone had the plot outline and then just turned that in as the book. There didn't seem to be much detail or emotion even in any situation in the book. It was like every third sentence had been chopped from the book. Kids are not complete idiots. They can deal with more detail or momentous situations. I'm going to keep reading the series in the second book and see if my opinion changes. I really hope it does change upon further reading.

Clark Hallman

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle has been on my “To Read” list for many years because I have an affinity for time-travel novels. However, it is a children’s book or it is probably more appropriately described as a “Young Adult” novel. For some reason, that deterred me from reading it. However, this novel has cred. In 1963 it won the Newbery Medal, which is awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. In addition, it is 7th in the Goodreads “Best Time Travel Books of All Time” list and 8th in the Goodreads “Best Time Travel Fiction” list. So, I read it now when I’m in my 60s and I enjoyed it very much (not because I’m in my second childhood either). This is a wonderfully written little novel that is packed with interesting, appealing, determined and brave characters. Meg, her extraordinary younger brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin are transported to a very remote planet to attempt a rescue of their father from an evil imprisonment. Three benevolent beings took them on this rescue journey via a tesseract, i.e., a wrinkle in time that allows them to quickly move through time and space. However, the children must battle the evil by themselves. I found this novel to be a very enjoyable cocktail of science fiction, fantasy and adventure that left me with a sweet feeling at the end. Maybe I am in my second childhood! This novel is a worthwhile read for anyone.

Sarah Null

I read this when I was in fifth or sixth grade and I loved it. Re-reading it as an adult, I realized there was no way my eleven-or-twelve-year-old brain could have fully appreciated this masterpiece. After all, I am no Charles Wallace. Sure, the book has fantasy elements like travel through time and space, magical beings, and other worlds, but this is so much more than a children's hero tale. This is a beautiful book about love, good over evil, being different, and what happens when we realize our parents aren't perfect and we have to grow up and do things for ourselves.

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