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.

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.

Savannah

Madeleine L'Engle is a Christian writer, more so even than C. S. Lewis in my opinion. However, while the influence of Christian Theology (and in later books, biblical history) is woven throughly through out all the books in this series, it is not offensive to non-Christian readers. I am one of those. To be completely honest, when my mother first read me this when I was about 7 years old, I was totally oblivious to the influence L'Engle's faith has on her writing. It wasn't until I was twelve or thirteen, when I read the entire series several times over, that it became obvious to me. But I digress. What really makes this book (and others in the series) has nothing directly to do with the writer's faith. It has to do with the different types of non-sexual love found between family, friends, society, and the individual. I know, big thing for a Children's novel, but it generally is shown rather then told thereby allowing young children to learn by example.Going back to the faith thing for half a second, it's like a large parable for how the New Testament (Protestant Christian, any how) advises people to form relationships and maintain them. We are to love and respect our parents, even when the world doesn't. Meg believes in and loves her father, even though he has some odd theories and has been missing for years. We are to care after our siblings regardless of personal quibbles, again like Meg and her brothers. WE are to show compassion for our neighbors despite what other members of our society think (See Calvin's friendship with Meg and Charles) and To care for them even though it might mean personal risk, as in some of the later scenes. Over all, it demonstrates a non-sexual love as one of the most powerful forces in the Universe. And this is a moral lesson that every faith can embrace.

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.

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.

Prashant

This book has deeply disappointed me. At this point of time I can't say if I am more disappointed with myself or with the book. Looking at the high ratings given to this book I have started to doubt if I am too much of a mortal to enjoy science fiction. Will have to check that in future.The plot of this book worked out to be just fine in the first half but then the story started to go bland. The dialogues are boring and I can't feel a scintilla of emotion for any of the characters. The science seemed to be too absurd, the plot too awry and the whole story without any strong character. After enduring the pain for 60 or so pages my patience grew too thin and I had to stop. Maybe the problem is not with the story but with the teller. I Can't point a finger on anything right now but I am very sure I hated it.Maybe because after reading half of it, I saved it thinking that I will read the rest on some calm and propitious day. Well, surely the morning doesn't seem to be that calm anymore! The author would have done a much better job if she had put a little more effort in grooming the charachterss of the book. They are just too shallow. As for me, I am pretty soon going to test my taste for science fiction by reading The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy. Does anyone have a better suggestion?

Book Elf

This is the first time a read a book of Madeleine L'Engle. I dunno what to say. I have mixed emotions on this book after reading it. I liked it and didn't like it at the same time. Maybe because it threw information about science, then it shifted to biblical ~ which I reckon didn't go well together. So I have the same impact on viewing this book. When they mentioned about a song that angels sing~ i recall what I have read in the Bible, in the book of Apocalypse, that those who were saved are singing a new song~ ...also, Aunt Beast said "We look not at the things which are what you would call seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal But the things which are not seen are eternal." Isn't it the line that Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18? And I quote, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."So, I was really not so sure if i liked this book. It supposed to be fictional but the author has mixed the truth with her fiction. And I say that things that are true and sacred shouldn't be used as a part of her own created world.It has so many quotes from famous people too, which she can use, I have no objection on that part. I found the settings weird. The characters were all fallible and weird. So it felt weird reading this book. I was having a headache when reading this book.

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.

Ruben

I'm sorry to disappoint you guys, but I did not think this was a great book. I realize I'm just now reading a book you've all loved for years, so I feel bad knocking something that's such a classic in children's literature. But honestly, it was a drag to read, and I'll tell you why. The characters are all either boring (Meg, Calvin) or unbelievable (Charles Wallace). The non-Earth settings are fully disconnected from each other and simply parodies of our world. The pacing is painful, with conversations that drag on and on while the characters discuss the obvious. I rarely found the writing clever or charming, but I did enjoy the plentiful quotations of other works (maybe because it was a break from L'Engle's writing), and I liked the part where Mrs. Whatsit sprained her dignity. If you want clever, read Snicket; if you want human, read Rowling; if you want epic, read Tolkien; if you want mind-bending, read Verne; if you want funny, read White or Cleary. I was looking for these things here but couldn't find them.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ryan Ford

Wow! I forgot what a great book this is. I read the four Madeline L'Engle books when I was a kid, but it was C. S. Lewis that I read over and over again. "A Winkle in Time" is really a classic piece of children's literature though, and deserves much attention.To all of the normal readers out there, that's all I have to say. Read it again! It will only take you about two hours or so, and it is well worth it. To the Lost Book Club peoples:There are a few things in this novel that might reflect on the Lost T.V. show. First, I mentioned how, like Stephen King's "The Stand," this book actually mentions another book on the Lost Book List. Actually, this book quote's Shakespear's "The Tempest." I haven't yet read "The Tempest," but it was the last play fully credited to the author, and although it wasn't a hit in its day, it is now considered a masterpiece, and perhaps his best play (at least according to Wikipedia.)So here are the quote's from "The Tempest" that occur in "A Wrinkle in Time." Both are recited by Mrs. Who:"We are such stuff as dreams are made on."-Prospero, in "The Tempest"pg. 81 in "A Wrinkle in Time""... For that he was a spirit too delicateTo act their earthly and abhorr'd commands,refusing their grand hests, they did confine himBy help of their most potent ministers,And in their most unmitigable rage,Into a cloven pine; within which riftImprisoned, he didst painfully remain..."pg 101 in "A Wrinkle in Time"Without thinking to much on it, I thought that the second quote might be some referece to the character Jacob on Lost. He is kind of a mystery character at this point.Also, there is a quote later on in "A Wrinkle in Time" that is from the Bible." Although it is not on this Lost Book List, on the first list I saw, it was included. I need to go back and watch the first season (maybe this summer,) but I think that Locke either quotes or reads the Bible."The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called, but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring nought things that are."1 Corinthians 1:25pg 201-2 in "A Wrinkle in Time."I haven't really thought of any correlation between Lost and this quote, but maybe because it could be related to any number of characters. (Locke, Ben,...)Okay, one more quick quote from the book. Meg, the main character of the book, comes across an alien species in her adventure. This alien cannot see, and has no concept of seeing. It considers such a thing to be primitive. It knows things without seeing them. Anyways, this alien gives this quote, which I think is pretty neat:"We look not at the things which are what you would call seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. But the things that are not seen are eternal."Kinda cool when you consider that the island cannot be seen from the outside. In fact, you could say that the people on the boat can not see it, but they know that it is there...The last thing in this book that might have relation to the series is actually quite a big part of the book. Actualy, it is practiaclly the basis of it. Meg's mother and father had speculated on the "Tesseract," which is a theory that allows one to travel great distances in a short period of time. Rather than traveling very fast, such as at the speed of light, "Tessering" is more of a connection of two places at the same time. There is a couple of pictorals on pg. 76 that explain it in a simple manner. However, it really only explains the distance part of it, and doesn't really explain the element of time. In physics, the fourth dimentson is time, and in the book "A Wrinkle in Time," the fifth dimension is a tesseract.So how could a tesseract be part of the Lost series? Well in the last few episodes, we have seen some people get off of the island by means of a helicopter. There was some sort of time delay between the island and the boat that nobody can really account for, however. Although this is perhaps the opposite of what happens in "A Wrinkle in Time," they both have properties of... abnormalities in time and space.Kinda weird! As is the show.

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