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A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L'Engle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Time Quintet (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
31,99984461 (4.05)4 / 1083
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.
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    When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Ciruelo, BookshelfMonstrosity)
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1960s (4)

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English (821)  Dutch (2)  Tagalog (1)  English (Middle) (1)  German (1)  All languages (826)
Showing 1-5 of 821 (next | show all)
Now I have a gerund for what Cooper was doing at the end of Interstellar: tessering. And like the story of Interstellar, A Wrinkle in Time owes some but not all debt to its 1884 predecessor [b:Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions|433567|Flatland A Romance of Many Dimensions|Edwin A. Abbott|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1435435775s/433567.jpg|4243538]. Unlike the two aforementioned stories, however, this book is unique in that it is a young adult novel that includes a rich tapestry of philosophy, science, geometry, physics, cosmology, math, literature, and even religion--at the end, we encounter Paul's words from several of his epistles, all culminating in the triumph of love presented in 1 Corinthians 13.

The story (originally published in 1962) has now become a fairly stock tale, especially after the huge sci-fi boom in 70s and 80s books and movies--not to mention the current renaissance with offerings such as [b:Ready Player One|9969571|Ready Player One|Ernest Cline|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1406383612s/9969571.jpg|14863741] and Netlix's best original series (that is a fact, not an opinion), Stranger Things. But this is not to fault the book. It is only indicative of the fact that I am reading it in 2016 as a 32-year-old. Yes, I sort of missed this one in my childhood. Sadly, due to the lopsidedness of my youth, I'm sure I turned from it because it was neither Calvin and Hobbes nor a book with a male protagonist.

But while the characters and plot are now as commonplace as the morals--differences are a good thing; our faults can be our strengths: "Yes, it was to her faults that she turned to save herself now" (153); and, ultimately, love conquers all--the book still has enough to maintain its status as a classic of (children's) literature and well justify its John Newbery Medal.

Beginning with the opening sentence, I knew I was in for a treat. Any student of literature knows the history of the sentence "It was a dark and stormy night." This very sentence, from a novel of 1830, has come to represent bad writing--and L'Engle has the audacity to use it as her opening sentence! Right away I knew this was a book written for people like me. L'Engle knows her craft and obviously wants to have fun with the reader. Yes, this is one of those "smart person books," designed to stimulate those who love learning.

And from there we get explanations of mathematics, physics, and geometry worthy of Borges stories, and even Dekker boxes to describe higher dimensions à la [b:Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension|274063|Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension|Rudy v.B. Rucker|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1386921224s/274063.jpg|265741] (published over a decade later, by the way). We get a trio of "witches," one of whom (called Mrs Who) quotes everyone from Dante to Seneca to Pascal to Shakespeare (in the original languages!). She even quotes from [b:Macbeth|8852|Macbeth|William Shakespeare|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1459795224s/8852.jpg|1896522], using one of the very lines from the play's own trio of witches. Well played, L'Engle!

Most likely due to the time during which the book was written, we get a dark planet called Camazotz, which sounds to my ears like both comatose (the inhabitants there are stripped of their identities and asked to just "give in" and "let go" and basically sleep through life) and Communism (the looming spectre of the times). Everyone is the same on Camazotz. Weaklings (i.e. people who are different) are put to death à la Plato's proposal from [b:The Republic|30289|The Republic|Plato|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1386925655s/30289.jpg|1625515] to banish the lesser beings from civilization.

L'Engle is nothing if not a sort of children's Borges, mixing as she does so many areas of thought while still unraveling a coherent and compelling story. At first, I thought I would muster some regret at not having read it in childhood, but the fact that I've managed to experience it in adulthood cancels out the omission. Plus, having read so much other literature that shares this book's themes, I have found further proof of its canonical status. Like, say, [b:The Little Prince|157993|The Little Prince|Antoine de Saint-Exupéry|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1367545443s/157993.jpg|2180358], this book practically lends itself to regular reading throughout one's life. ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
Finally ready to watch the movie! ( )
  nikkiroy | Apr 14, 2021 |
I read this many years ago. I ought to read it again. A wonderful work of fantasy. ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
I would recommend this book for upper elementary school students. I was intrigued by the complex plot and think it would be best for upper-level readers. The story tells about a young girl named Meg Murry, a high school student who is standoffish. She goes on an adventure through time and space in order to save her father who disappeared when she was a child. I think this would be great in the classroom and I would keep this book in my library.
  Elliemangan | Mar 8, 2021 |
The first time I read a Wrinkle in Time was when I was in 6th grade. I've read it so many times since then because it's just an amazing story. Its sci-fi meets coming of age and is written beautifully. The book opens with Meg, Charles (her little bro) and they are wondering what happened to their dad who had been working for the government and has disappeared. He has been missing for a few years and the kids and their Mom have no clue what happened to him. Until one day someone shows up at the door and takes them on an adventure through the universe where they travel into worlds that are controlled by a mysterious being (IT). It is a great book for middle schoolers and English teachers to talk about figurative language and was a fun read. It also connects to math by introducing students to the concepts of dimensionality and understanding the progression of space from 0 dimensions to 4 or 5. There is also the issue of diversity that is addressed in this book. Charles has succomed to the darkness in a part of the book and they discuss how on the planet being different creates problems, and can be confining. This imaginative book will surely keep your kids on the edge of their seats wondering if Meg will be able to save her brother from the mysterious IT and find out the truth about what happened to her father. ( )
  NickiByrd | Mar 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 821 (next | show all)
The hype around this book has been unquestionable and, admittedly, that made me eager to get my hands on it. I suggest you join NovelStar’s writing competition right now until the end of May with a theme Werewolf You can also publish your stories there. just email our editors hardy@novelstar.top, joye@novelstar.top, or lena@novelstar.top.
added by Nica.Samilin | editCalifornia Literary Review

» Add other authors (25 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
Reggiani, SaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richwood, SamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosoff, MegIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scaife, KeithIllustratorsecondary 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?" [p.27]
Well, the fifth dimension's a tesseract...In other words, to put it into Euclid, or old-fashioned plane geometry, a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points. [p.75]
“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 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.

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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. Whatsit, 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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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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