A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1)

ISBN: 0788701371
ISBN 13: 9780788701375
By: Madeleine L'Engle Barbara Caruso

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Childhood Childhood Favorites Children's Childrens Classic Kids Sci Fi Science Fiction Series To Read

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 way, by the way, there is a such 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.Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN #0440998050

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.

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.

Bryon

I started reading "A Wrinkle In Time" when I was 8 or 10. I say started because I never finished it. I can't remember exactly why, but I think it kind of scared the crap out of me. Now, 15 or 17 years later, I've read it again (this time the whole thing) and there's really nothing scary at all about it. It's possible that, as a kid, I was somehow relating this book to the terribly scary Disney movie "Something Wicked This Way Comes". Again, I don't know why.Whatever the reason for my fears, the book is not spectacular. Maybe I can't see it now being older and not reading through the eyes of a child, but I can't understand how it won the John Newberry Medal. The witches were plastic and seemed to serve little purpose; the bad guy, a concept embodied in a shadow, had no motivation (if you want to read about true darkness for the sake of darkness/nothing for the sake of nothing, pick up Michael Ende's "The Neverending Story"); and the father, who seems to have no backbone and no sense of decency when it comes to saving his son. It has been said that the father character is an excellent tool in showing children that parents do not always have the answers, that they are, in fact, fallible and (God forbid) imperfect. But it's so much more than that. He comes across as weak, helpless, foolish, and even heartless at times. If you want to write a story where a child finds out that his/her parents aren't perfect, you don't have to make the parental figure a cold, bumbling idiot. Unless that's what you're going for. And I certainly don't think that L'Engle was. But all that aside, why would you even want to tell that story? Part of the beauty of being a child is you get to hold onto the illusion that mom and dad are Superman. Why ruin that? Granted, some kids live in terrible families, but there are better ways to write about those scenarios. This is not it.I wanted to give this book 2 stars but decided that, because of my jaded, critical age I cannot judge too harshly. Plus, I did like the savant character of Charles Wallace. He was cute. As was the love that Meg and him shared. Calvin, on the other hand, was a complete throwaway character.If I had kids, would I push this book on them? No. If they picked it off my bookshelf and started reading it, I wouldn't stop them. But I'm not about to recommend it to anyone young or old. Unless it's too ask that person to help me understand what the big deal is.

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.

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.

Matthew

The question is, after The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, what excuse does an author have for writing YET ANOTHER fantasy-land novel that corresponds to a Christian world-view? What Madeleine L'Engle brings to the table is a cursory knowledge of astronomy, the imagination of a brown paper sack, and half-assed characters designed only to demonstrate her personal beliefs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nandakishore Varma

After coming to this book with high expectations, I must say I was disappointed. Since it is hailed as something of a children's classic, I expected something more than the rather insipid fare presented. Madeline L'Engle seems to have set out to write a children's fantasy with a lot of Hard SF concepts, but have ended up with a familiar "Good-versus-Evil" story in the Christian tradition, cluttered with a lot of half-cooked scientific concepts which are never more than cursorily explained.For example, the key concept, the "tesseract", is explained as “the fifth dimension”. The author says, through the character of Mrs. Whatsit:"Well, the fifth dimension’s a tesseract. You add that to the other four dimensions and you can travel through space without having to go through the long way around. In other words, to put into Euclid, or old-fashioned plane geometry, a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points."Well, she is wrong on many counts here. The tesseract is actually a hypothetical figure of the mathematical fourth dimension, whose “faces” consist of three dimensional cubes, the same way the faces of a normal cube consist of squares. In fact, if you square a square, you get a cube: if you square a cube in the fourth dimension, you get a tesseract. (Interestingly enough, this point is well captured by L’Engle: only, she sees the fourth dimension as time. This is Einstein’s concept, and totally independent of the mathematical fourth dimension.)[To be fair, I have to add that although the author misses base totally with the basic concept, I found the title of the book is a nice way to describe the concept of a wormhole: however, apart from using this methodology to keep on jumping from one planet to another, this interesting topic is not developed further.]The parents of the protagonist, Meg, are scientists. Meg is a typical “difficult” child-bad at academics and rebellious at school, but brilliant. Her parents, being scientists, can see beyond outer appearances, so they are tolerant of her faults: her teachers and society less so. When the story begins, Meg’s father is missing, ostensibly on a secret mission for the government. But all the neighbours think that he has gone off with another woman, and the snide remarks she keeps on hearing do nothing to improve Meg’s already belligerent personality. The only person who understands her is kid brother Charles Wallace, a boy who is officially a moron but endowed with psychic powers in reality.It is into this situation, on a stormy night, that Mrs. Whatsit walks in. She, with her companions Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which (nice play on words here: Mrs. Who wears glasses and quotes from classics reminds one of a wise owl, and Mrs. Which flies on a broom and keeps on appearing and disappearing, as if by magic) are fighting against the “Darkness”, which Meg’s dad is also fighting. They whisk away Meg, Charles and neighbourhood kid Calvin across many universes and dimensions. It seems that the kids have been destined to fight the Darkness: which they do on the frightening planet Camazotz, and in true fairy tale tradition, initially lose and then win. And that’s the story in a nutshell.As fantasies go, this is pretty standard fare, considering the time in which it was written. However, the novelist must be commended for bringing the whole good-versus-evil battle into a wider canvas than the traditional Christian one: Einstein, Gandhi, Buddha, Da Vinci etc. are also seen as warriors of the Light along with Jesus, and the Darkness is never identified with the concept of Sin or the Devil. In fact, the description of Camazotz with its mindless inhabitants and their rigid adherence to discipline is positively chilling in its resemblance to a totalitarian regime (the nonconformist child being forced to toss the ball again and again, crying with pain at each practice… brrr!).But ultimately, the novel fails to deliver. Meg’s father’s experimental project ends up as just a plot device. The author seemed to have started out with a lot of ideas at the outset, but seems have lost track of them as the novel progressed: in the end, only the rescue of Meg’s father and his reunion with the family is given any focus. The whole background story remains extremely inchoate. And as a fearless female protagonist, Meg does precious little except at the very end.Still, I give the novel three stars for introducing a lot of interesting concepts to its young audience. In its time, it must have "ignited a lot of minds" (to borrow a phrase from our former President, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam) and encouraged them to travel along the adventurous trail of scientific discovery.

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.

Jill

This classic novel for middle graders begins on "a dark and stormy night." Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and her mother, a scientist, are in the kitchen having a midnight snack when a strange visitor shows up at their door. Soon after, this visitor, Mrs. Whatist, takes Meg, Charles Wallace, and their schoolmate, Calvin, on a dangerous journey to save Meg and Charles Wallace's father, a scientist who has been missing for over a year.A Wrinkle in Time has been a favorite of children for many years. Because I never read it as a child, I'm not sure if my opinion about it would be different. For example, I recently reread The Chronicles of Narnia, a series that I read multiple times when I was a child. While I observed some shortcomings in the books and was bothered by the religious undertones I never seemed to notice when I was a child, I thoroughly enjoyed rereading them as an adult and getting reacquainted with familiar characters and plots.Maybe I would have felt the same with A Wrinkle in Time. However, after reading it for the first time as an adult, it was just okay.I loved the characters…kind hearted Meg, the exceptionally bright Charles Wallace, down-to-earth Calvin, and the quirky Mrs. Whatist. The plot full of magic, space travel, suspense and mystery is good enough to get a child hooked on sci-fi/fantasy. The dark and frightening climax when Meg is fighting "It", the disembodied brain, will keep kids on the edge of their seats, and I think many will be eager to read the other four novels in the quintet.What bothered me though was the lack of detail I would have liked to have seen more of. I wanted to know more about Mrs. Whatist and company and more about Aunt Beast, the furry creature that saves Meg's life. I would have liked to have seen the aftermath of Meg's defeat of "It" on Camazotz. Were the people freed? Was "It" destroyed? Granted, this may be revealed in a later novel in the series, but I did wish that there was a little more background information.The other thing I had a hard time getting past was L'Engle's religious messaging. I admit that I'm uber-sensitive about having religious messaging in children's books that aren't advertised as religious-themed books. I feel that it alienates children of different faiths and is unnecessary in mainstream stories like this, especially when it adds nothing to the storyline. This has been a contentious issue since the book's publication, and L'Engle herself has always claimed that she talks about faith, not religion. I remain skeptical about that.But religion aside, I do think it's a book that many children will enjoy. Because there are some frightening situations, I do not recommend it as a read aloud to younger children. I think grades 5-7 would be the appropriate age range.

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.

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