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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
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A Wrinkle in Time (1962)

by Madeleine L'Engle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Time Quintet (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,48156747 (4.1)2 / 862
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    When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Ciruelo, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Time is a key component in both of these compelling, coming-of-age fantasies with complex plots centered on girls who share absent fathers and the struggle to save the life of a boy near-and-dear to them.
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    The Silver Crown by Robert C. O'Brien (ncgraham)
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    Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (kkunker)
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    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (Anjali.Negi)
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    So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: For the socially awkward girls who come into their own and fight against evil
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    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Anjali.Negi)
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    The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (Anjali.Negi)
  11. 10
    What Came from the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt (Barb_H)
  12. 10
    Moon Eyes by Josephine Poole (bmlg)
    bmlg: similar themes of the loving relationship between an awkward, insecure older sister and her odd younger brother, and her efforts to protect him from supernatural danger
  13. 10
    The Dream of the Stone by Christina Askounis (moonsoar)
  14. 10
    The Changeover by Margaret Mahy (SylviaC)
  15. 10
    Toby Alone by Timothee de Fombelle (fugitive)
  16. 11
    Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars by Daniel Manus Pinkwater (aaronius)
    aaronius: More comic, more Earthbound, but still fantastic writing with life lessons equally appropriate for intelligent youngsters and their parents.
  17. 01
    The Revolving Boy by Gertrude Friedberg (thesmellofbooks)
1960s (3)
Unread books (1,014)
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English (563)  Dutch (1)  Tagalog (1)  German (1)  English (Middle) (1)  All languages (567)
Showing 1-5 of 563 (next | show all)
The first time I read A Wrinkle in Time was over 25 years ago, so I wanted to see how the story would hold up for me after all this time.

While I still loved its science fiction (time travel!!), I didn't connect with Meg as much as I did at 12 years old; in fact, she kinda annoyed me. Then there's the insta-friendship between Calvin, Charles Wallace and Meg -- that seemed a bit too convenient and saccharine. I also didn't remember there being such heavy references to God and Christianity.

I'd recommend this to middle graders with an interest in time travel.

3.5 stars (5 stars in 1989; 3 stars in 2016) ( )
  flying_monkeys | Sep 23, 2016 |
Very annoying insertions of pretend Christianity distract from what's already a poor fantasy story. ( )
  valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
This was a very pretty little book. I liked the first half a lot - it had some nicely written parts, the characters were rather well drawn, and I didn't find the Christian themes terribly intrusive. Had to knock a star off for the second half though - it becomes very heavy-handed, morality-wise, not in an offensive way or anything, but it feels a bit tell-y rather than show-y. I really didn't like how abruptly everything was resolved. Rare book that could maybe have used an extra fifty pages. May or may not read the rest, given the state of my to read list it'll be a while... ( )
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Thirteen-year-old Meg Murry's classmates and teachers see her as a troublesome and stubborn student. Her family knows that she is emotionally immature but also sees her capable of doing great things. The family includes her beautiful scientist mother, her absent scientist father, her athletic 10-year-old twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys; and her five-year-old brother Charles Wallace Murry, a child prodigy genius who can sometimes read Meg's mind.

Unable to sleep during a thunderstorm, Meg descends from her attic room to find Charles Wallace sitting at the table drinking milk and eating bread and jam. They are then joined by their mother, and are visited by their new eccentric neighbor, Mrs Whatsit. In the course of conversation, Mrs Whatsit casually mentions there is such a thing as a tesseract, which causes Mrs. Murry to almost faint.

The next morning, Meg discovers the term refers to a scientific concept her father was working on before his mysterious disappearance. The following afternoon, Meg and Charles Wallace encounter Meg's schoolmate, Calvin O'Keefe, a high-school junior who, although he is a "big man on campus", considers himself a misfit as well. They then go to visit an old haunted house near town which Charles Wallace already knows is the home of Mrs Whatsit. There they encounter a companion of Mrs Whatsit, the equally strange Mrs Who. She promises that she and her friends will help Meg find and rescue her father. A budding love interest develops between Meg and Calvin. In the evening, Charles Wallace declares it is time for them to go on their mission to save their father. This is accompanied by the appearance of the third member of the "Mrs W's", Mrs Which, who appears to materialize out of nothing.
Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which turn out to be supernatural beings who transport Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe through the universe by means of tesseract, a fifth-dimensional phenomenon explained as being similar to folding the fabric of space and time. Their first stop is the planet Uriel, a Utopian world filled with Centaur-like beings who live in a state of light and love. Mrs Whatsit herself shows that she, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which are all these centaur-like creatures in disguise as humans. There the "Mrs W's" reveal to the children that the universe is under attack from an evil being who appears as a large dark cloud called The Black Thing, which is essentially the personification of evil. The children are then taken elsewhere to visit a woman who is a medium (the "Happy Medium") with a crystal ball. In it, they see that Earth is partially covered by the darkness, although great religious figures, philosophers, and artists have been fighting against it. Mrs Whatsit is revealed to be a former star who exploded in an act of self-sacrifice to fight the darkness.

The children then travel to the dark planet of Camazotz, which is entirely dominated by the Black Thing. Meg's father is trapped there. They find that all the inhabitants behave in a mechanistic way and seem to be under the control of a single mind. At the planet's central headquarters (described as CENTRAL Central Intelligence), they discover a red-eyed man with telepathic abilities who can cast a hypnotic spell over their minds. He claims to know the whereabouts of their father. Charles Wallace deliberately looks into the red eyes of the man, allowing himself to be taken over by the mind controlling planet in order to find their father. Under its influence, he takes Meg and Calvin to the place where Dr. Murry is being held prisoner because he would not succumb to the group mind. The planet turns out to be controlled by an evil disembodied brain with powerful telepathic abilities, which the inhabitants of Camazotz call "IT." Charles Wallace takes them to the place where IT is held. In such close proximity to IT, the children are threatened by a possible telepathic takeover of their minds. With special powers from Mrs Who's glasses, Dr. Murry is able to "tesser" Calvin, Meg and himself away from Camazotz, but Charles Wallace is left behind, still under the influence of IT. Mr. Murry does not know how to protect Meg from the Black Thing which surrounds the planet as they tesser through it, which nearly kills her. When they arrive on the neighboring planet of Ixchel, Meg is nearly frozen, and paralyzed. Calvin and the Murrys are discovered by the planet's inhabitants, large, sightless "beasts" with tentacles and four arms, who prove both wise and gentle. Meg's paralysis is cured under the care of one inhabitant, whom Meg nicknames "Aunt Beast." Meg overcomes her anger at her father for leaving Charles Wallace on Camazotz, realizing that parents can't fix everything, and sometimes children can solve problems themselves.

Then the trio of Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which arrive. They charge Meg with rescuing Charles Wallace from IT, because only Meg has a strong enough bond with him. Their father had last seen Charles Wallace when he was a baby and Calvin had only just met him. They each give her a gift. Mrs Whatsit gives Meg her love. Mrs Who quotes to Meg a passage from the Bible about God choosing the foolish of the world to confound the wise, and the weak to confound the strong. Mrs Which tells Meg that she has one thing that IT does not have. Upon arriving at the building where IT is housed, Charles Wallace is still there under IT's influence. Meg realizes that the one thing she has that IT does not is love. She focuses all her love at Charles Wallace and is able to free him from IT's control. Mrs Who, Mrs Which and Mrs Whatsit tesser the Murrys and Calvin back to Earth. In the vegetable garden they are reunited with Mrs. Murry and the twins. Mrs Whatsit says that, although she and the others like the spectacle of the family reuniting, they have to go somewhere. Before Mrs Whatsit finishes her sentence, she and the others disappear. ( )
  bostonwendym | Jul 23, 2016 |
Revisited as an adult, mostly holds up to a re-reading. Funny to now identify with the 'star sisters', instead of the wayward children. ( )
1 vote kcshankd | Jul 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 563 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madeleine L'Engleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrett, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caruso, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, HopeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, Jody A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linden, Vincent van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maitland, AntonyContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raskin, EllenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sis, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yoo, TaeeunCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Charles Wadsworth Camp and Wallace Collin Franklin
First words
It was a dark and stormy night.
Quotations
"The tesseract--" Mrs. Murry whispered. What did she mean? How could she have known?

Well, the fifth dimension's a tesseract...In other words, to put it into Euclid, or old-fashion plain geometry, a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.
“Maybe I don’t like being different,” Meg said. “but I don’t want to be like everybody else, either.”
“You mean you’re comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it?”

“Yes.” Mrs. Whatsit said. “You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.”
The middle beast, a tremor of trepidation in his words, said "You aren't from a dark planet, are you?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace leave Earth in search of Meg's father, Mr. Murry. Mr. Murry is a scientist who has been missing since the birth of Charles Wallace, Meg's baby brother. Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Whatsist, however, assist the children in their journey by helping them to tesseract or wrinkle in time. They soon discover that their father has been detained by IT. IT tries to transform people into mindless robots. Will they be able to overpower IT? Will they be able to save their father?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312367546, Paperback)

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)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

» see all 14 descriptions

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