A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1)

ISBN: 0821925326
ISBN 13: 9780821925324
By: Madeleine L'Engle

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

About this book

Now, 40 years after A Wrinkle in Time was first published to become one of the landmark books in childrens' literature, Square Fish is proud to present this Newbery Medal winner, completely redesigned and with bonus material, including an appreciation by Anna Quindlen, a new interview with Madeleine L'Engle, and the author's Newbery Medal acceptance speech.Everyone in town thinks Meg is volatile and dull-witted and that her younger brother Charles Wallace is dumb. People are also saying that their father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors, Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their new friend Calvin, embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time.Young people who have trouble finding their place in the world will connect with the "misfit" characters in this provocative story. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, although it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep into their characters to find answers.A classic since 1962, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is sophisticated in concept yet warm in tone, with mystery and love coursing through its pages. Meg's shattering yet ultimately freeing discovery that her father is not omnipotent provides a satisfying coming-of-age element. Readers will feel a sense of power as they travel with these three children, challenging concepts of time, space, and the power of good over evil. (Ages 9 to 12) One stormy night a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe on a most dangerous and fantastic journey—a journey that will threaten their lives and our universe.Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time.Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?

Reader's Thoughts

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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