Book: A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
Series: The Wrinkle in Time Quintet
Genre: Children’s Fantasy / Children’s Science Fiction
Ages: 10 and up
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.
I have loved A Wrinkle in Time for decades. The writing style, which I can appreciate more as an adult, is clean and beautiful. It manages to be simple without being simplistic and never feels like it has been dumbed down for children. Written just over fifty years ago, it will ring just as true to children today as it has over the last half century. The story is a classic, the world building is unique and interesting, and the characters are well drawn. It is particularly wonderful for children who feel like misfits. I do remember being scared the first time I read it, which was well before the 10-11 years old that I see online as age guides, but as previously noted (often) I have always been easily frightened. I sometimes feel that books written earlier (such as Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia – see my review here) end up with higher age ranges than books being written now. Maybe it’s like how older movies had stricter guidelines for what got rated as PG-13, what got rated as R and so on.
There are five books in this series, with some branch off books about the Austin family. The Austin family books are good (at least the couple that I read) but more mature – I would recommend late junior high or early high school. The Wrinkle in Time Quintet is very good overall. I didn’t actually care for Many Waters, but the rest of the books I thoroughly enjoyed (though do be aware the themes get more mature as the series progresses). My second favorite is probably the last book: An Acceptable Time.
In order, the Wrinkle in Time Quintet books are as follows:
- A Wrinkle in Time – Amazon, Barnes & Noble
- A Wind in the Door – Amazon, Barnes & Noble
- A Swiftly Tilting Planet – Amazon, Barnes & Noble
- Many Waters – Amazon, Barnes & Noble
- An Acceptable Time – Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Apparently there’s a movie, but I haven’t seen it. Any of you seen it? Read any of Madeleine L’Engle’s works?
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