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A Wrinkle in Time by madeleine lengle

A Wrinkle in Time (original 1962; edition 1962)

by madeleine lengle

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24,46360344 (4.1)2 / 904
Title:A Wrinkle in Time
Authors:madeleine lengle
Info:Ariel Books (1962), Edition: Book Club (BCE/BOMC), Hardcover
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

  1. 130
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1960s (3)
Unread books (1,008)

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English (598)  Dutch (1)  Tagalog (1)  German (1)  English (Middle) (1)  All (602)
Showing 1-5 of 598 (next | show all)
I first read this book in elementary school and had memories of enjoying it. Hearing that there are plans to turn it into a movie I pulled out my old copy for a re-read. My memories from childhood were very vague and some of my memories didn't turn up in the book at all (perhaps they were scenes from books 2 or 3 in the series which I also read as a kid). I did vaguely remember that this was a story of sci-fi/fantasy travel to strange worlds on a quest by kids to save their father. I also remembered there being some religious overtones which turned out to be even more overt than I remembered.

From a high level this is a fantasy adventure story for younger kids. The storyline is fairly simple and in spite of there being a number of strange characters and worlds, the details are pretty straightforward and easy to follow for kids. The book does introduce some heavier scientific and moralistic concepts but then explains them in ways that will be acceptable to young readers or those unfamiliar with the terms.

As an adult reader, I can see interesting nuances in the character and world building done by the author as she explores deeper concepts of good vs. evil and the true inner nature of a person. The characters aren't particularly deep or fleshed out but they serve to drive the story effectively and help build out the concepts presented. The children in the story each have their own strengths and flaws that they need to come to understand and work through. The mystical beings that help lead them on their journeys serve mostly as non-intrusive travel guides. They facilitate the journey without interfering...kind of like a parent helping a child learn to walk, they stand at the edges ready to try and catch the child as he/she stumbles but mostly they just explain what's going on and help ensure a safe environment as much as possible. Each of the different worlds visited by the travelers has its own unique bit of commentary on the state of the universe and the impact of the quest. Some worlds seem to serve as counterparts to one another to help the characters (and the reader) better understand the message the author is unfolding.

The moral overtones were a bit more specific than I remembered. I've seen this book/series compared somewhat to The Chronicles of Narnia. While Narnia is definitely filled with religious allegory, in many/most (all?) cases it is left somewhat abstracted so that a reader with no knowledge of Christianity or other religions may not notice the allegory (although in the last few Narnia books it becomes a little harder to miss). In Wrinkle in Time there is some imagery that is subtle rather than overt but there are also numerous very direct references made to Christian ideas of morality and teaching. There are multiple references to the Bible, God, angles, etc. The concept of good vs evil is presented as a very literal (albeit multi-worldly) battle being fought by God's warriors and those of the adversary. Personally, I had no problem with the religious overtones even though they were more heavy-handed than in Narnia but I felt like sometimes they were simply dangled in front of the reader without good reason or context other than to remind the reader of the importance of religious thought.

The writing is geared towards younger kids but is also filled with a lot of flowery almost poetic language. At times this is distracting though I mostly viewed it as part of the eccentricities of the otherworldly beings that are helping guide the children and narrate their journey (even though they aren't explicitly the narrator, I felt their influence in some of the flowery style). The dialog was simple and childlike and the plot development and resolution was clear cut and easy to follow. As an adult reader I wanted more development, more conflict, more depth but acknowledging this as a children's book I saw the style for what it is. Still, I would have liked a somewhat longer book as even at a child's level everything seemed to be resolved a bit too easily and fit too neatly into a nice little box.

Overall I enjoyed the book though I feel my childhood self enjoyed it more than my adult self. I found the simple writing and story refreshing and accessible even if it left me wanting a bit more. The moral of the story was nice even if the specific objective of this book was achieved a bit too easily and luckily though I suppose that can be a commentary that sometimes our struggles with evil will be easier to overcome than others. I plan to read the other books in the series to see how it plays out to my adult self but I'm not voraciously interested in diving in so it's probably a process I'll undertake over a longer wrinkle of time. I have no trouble recommending this as a good read for children. I feel like better kids/YA novels have come out in the decades since this was released. Still, this novel is a wholesome and simple dive into fantasy that would be accessible and enjoyable to a younger reader. My one reservation would be that today's kids might find the pacing too slow and/or the style too poetic for their 21st century tastes. Depending on the child, it could be something they would devour and rush through the rest of the series. Tough to tell.

3 out of 5 stars ( )
  theokester | Jun 14, 2017 |
I so would want to tesser. Sigh. Except that I would want to avoid the Dark Thing. This book is action-packed, filled with incidents that stretch your mind's imagination. I wanted to read it fast to know what happens next, yet I wanted to slow down and imagine this wonderful world that Madeleine has drawn for us. ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
This book is about a girl named Meg Murry & her brother Charles and their quest to find their father through space and time. Both children are deemed not very bright but are actually mentally extraordinary. I love the three magical ladies who assist them in their quest : their names are Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which! The story explores the good and evil of science and discovery in our world too. Did you know that Madeleine L’engle claimed in an interview that the subjects she was bad in were Maths and Science. She probably used that as inspiration to make Meg quite the opposite of herself! A really good read for someone starting out in Sci Fi! ( )
  Adya | May 28, 2017 |
In this book, Meg and Charles Wallace are sent on a mission to find their father, who has been missing and not responding for a long time. Several non-human characters guide them to begin their mission as they are joined by a neighbor boy, Calvin. In their journey, Charles Wallace is taken captive by IT, while Meg, Calvin, and their recently rescued father escape. Once Meg gets well after some poor tessering that sent her through the Black Thing, she is sent back to the planet alone to save Charles Wallace from IT. In the end, the family and Calvin is able to return home safely.
This book is primarily a fantasy book because it involves time travel, teleporting-like space travel, and unrealistic powers. For example, IT can control people by getting them in sync with his rhythm, matching their breathing and heart beat to his. Also, teleporting through time and space is impossible.
*Note: This book contains the word "ass" once as well as many direct references to God and quotations from the Bible.
  khofer15 | May 23, 2017 |
A richly imaginative story who mixes science into the tale interestingly. Well developed characters and beautiful descriptions. A book adults to would enjoy! ( )
  Wilwarin | May 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 598 (next | show all)
"A Wrinkle in Time" is confusing the first time you read it, but after a while it becomes amazing. The characters are so relate-able and I found myself greatly in the character of Meg. During the book, she learns about believing in herself and standing up and being a leader when she needs to. I believe that love and believing in yourself and the people you care about is also the theme of the story. The plot is believable as well, or at least as believable as a modern fantasy book's plot can be. It follows a very good story line that is engaging and suspenseful. First, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin are going to find Meg and CW's father, but then they find their father and CW gets captured. The whole time CW had been built up as the be all end all of characters. He is the smartest and the bravest, but now it is up to Meg to save him and in order to do so, she has to believe in herself. I cannot get over how much of myself I see in Meg. I think that is why I love this book so much, because a girl with mousy brown hair, big glasses and an awkward personality got to be the heroine if a story and if she can do that, then so can I.

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madeleine L'Engleprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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For Charles Wadsworth Camp and Wallace Collin Franklin
First words
It was a dark and stormy night.
"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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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?
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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