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

by Madeleine L'Engle

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24,65460844 (4.09)2 / 907
Member:wookiebender
Title:A Wrinkle in Time
Authors:Madeleine L'Engle
Info:Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group (1962), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 190 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:library book

Work details

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

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1960s (3)
Unread books (1,008)
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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle
Summary:
A Wrinkle in Time is a Newbery award winning classic that thoroughly entertains the reader with nonstop suspense from the very beginning as the father of Meg, Charles and the twins, a scientist that gets pulled into another dimension through the tesserack, a worm whole to other places and time. While away he was imprisoned by the evil on the other side and does not return until later in the book when he has been rescued by Meg and Charles. A new conflict emerges as evil; IT entices Charles Wallace with infinite books of knowledge. In the both conflicts we see the value of friendship and a denouement that only happens as Charles finds that there was no logic to overpower the love he has for his sister and love defeats evil. Early into the story the author foreshadows the importance of relationships as Kevin provides Meg with someone to help her moderate her impulsiveness and live to fight for another day after Charles has temporarily gone to the dark side. A secondary theme has been generated as we look at how separation affects all the children differently but more so how the absence of a father affected Meg with taking on a roll of protector for her siblings who often misunderstood her intentions and failed to appreciate her sacrifice.
Personal Reaction:
Having both younger and older children, there is always conflict with how one was raised over another, it was refreshing to see an author who could address these family obstacles that at the end, the true love between siblings becomes the heroic element that saves the family from IT, the evil entity that wanted Charles Wallace.
Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Paired with other classics like The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper and texts on family resilience and social development, this combination of books would add flavor to the teaching by balancing the didacticism of the text with the same amount of learning but where the children’s literature has first priority of entertainment.
2. As an award-winning piece of literature, the class could be asked to take on a chapter and find as many descriptive words that bring the characters to live and what understanding round characters in a fantasy novel did for them.
3. Form a literature circle in the class while reading the book and have a group discussion and ask each student the night prior to meeting to answer why the author used love to conquer IT. ( )
  jp942205 | Jul 22, 2017 |
One of my friends gave me this book to read. It was pretty good. It's a story about 3 children going to find their father through space and time. I liked the tesser and of course the different planets they visited. I just couldn't connect with the characters or care about them. Good ending. Definitely an interesting read and curious how they will bring it to movie version. ( )
  booklover3258 | Jul 22, 2017 |
I'm adding this to my Nostalgic Re-reads shelf but there is nothing nostalgic about this for me. I might as well throw this out there now: there are some ostensibly children's books that no child should read without the oversight of a rational, preferably humanist, adult to provide context and explain away some of the wrong.

I first read this sometime probably 1970-71. I know I reread it as I read a LOT as a child (okay...still do) rereading when I didn't have anything new. I read the sequel, but quickly outgrew Ms. L'Engle and didn't know she had extended this by three beyond that until much later.

Some of the themes are very juvenile, but "IT" bothered me almost 50 years ago, and annoys me now. The concept of a universal Evil is not a child theme, and though some religions have no qualms inducing such fear in children, I didn't connect Ms. L'Engle's particular beliefs until much later in life. And why was IT a giant brain? There's a message of science and reason being primary, but a counter message of quite the opposite (thus the need for the rational adult).

So, "IT" bothers me now, now that Disney has seen profits in (re)making a new movie. (The trailer made me think Peter Jackson was directing, because it already departs radically from the book, but he isn't...)

Well, it bothers me only if this book is foisted on a preteen without benefit of context, and of course, only if someone actually bothers with the book. Parents, heed the lesson of memory failings: "Raiders of the Lost Ark is only PG...should be okay for the nine year old, right?" Nope. ( )
  Razinha | Jul 20, 2017 |
I had to channel my seven year old self this week because I had been away from this book for too long. After having read it a few times a year for many years in my youth, I fell out of the habit over the last decade or two. Nevertheless this book was, as a friend so aptly put it, my gateway drug into the world of science fiction and I retained a love for it that now seems somewhat out of proportion.

The first thing that jarred me was the ham-handed characterization, particularly of Meg, who spends so much of the book either complaining, or screaming, or obsessing about one thing to the exclusion of every other, often obvious, necessity. Meg is not a likeable creature, though not because she's both stubborn and angry, but because of how she chooses to use what Mrs. Whatsis calls her "gifts." Rather, it's her unwillingness to understand or even listen to what her brother and her friend, and her father are telling her because she's certain she knows what's going on and they don't.

And the screaming. Meg screams a lot, and it's wearing.

I understand what L'Engle was going for with Charles Wallace, but now that I'm older and have done a lot more writing, I recognize that at least some of his speech pattern is in aid of not having to write a small child's dialogue. Yes, he should be more adult in his speech than a normal child his age, but to make him sound like a professor puts the reader at such a distance from his reality that it become difficult to read him as anything but a miniature adult, and it blunts the sense of danger we might get from his predicament.

Calvin? Too slangy by half, and all that slang seems quaint and even prissy.

But the story does hold up. Three children travel across universes to rescue the father of two of them. He's being held by an evil entity which takes over worlds and turns the inhabitants into near zombies. There's a 1984-ish vibe to it. It reflects the fears about the rise of totalitarian powers, Nazi Germany, certainly, but even more so, the spread of Communism after WWII. L'Engle, a profoundly Christian writer, believes that the power of love can defeat that sort of evil, and that the love of God is the greatest expression of that power.

While I don't share L'Engle's sentiments about Christianity, I do think that the scene where Meg is called upon to save her brother is a powerful one because it's the moment when she focuses all her negative energies into something positive: her expression of love for Charles Wallace, and not only accomplishes her task, but turns a corner in her own development. She begins to understand how even negative energies can be made positive if they're properly applied. It's also our pay-off for having stuck with Meg, and cared about her even when she was at her most unlikeable.

After that it's wham, bam, thank you ma'am, and done. There are two or three other books in this series, though, so the story continues, though somewhat less successfully than in Wrinkle. I've read two more in the past, and have no real desire to reread them now or seek out the fourth if it exists (can't recall, sorry.)

Part of me wishes I hadn't reread this because after such a long absence I found it a bit of a chore, and I hate thinking of it that way. I want to remember the magic, not the flaws. But I still have high hopes for the upcoming film, so it's not a story I'll ever let go of. ( )
  Tracy_Rowan | Jul 20, 2017 |
Well I finally read this classic and I can't wait to start the next one!! As a Christian I loved seeing all the references to God and Jesus and the angels and light and dark and oh just all of it; very inspiring to see this genre used this way. ( )
  longhorndaniel | Jul 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 604 (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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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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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.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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