A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, published in 1962, is an Award Winning children's book. A science fantasy novel, it won a Newbery Medal, Sequoyah Book Award, Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and was a runner-up for The Hans Christian Anderson Award.

A Wrinkle in Time deals with many common challenges children and teenagers face.

Meg Murry is a high-school freshman with glasses, braces, and "mousy" brown hair, as she calls it. She is also having trouble at school, usually from not being able to control her quick temper.

Coming from a family with "too smart" parents (scientists) and with a "too dumb" five-year-old brother, Charles Wallace, who is often referred to as a "moron", doesn't help.

In fact, Charles Wallace is beyond brilliant, but few people know that. He didn't talk at all until he was four years old, and when he did begin talking, it was in full sentences and only to his family.

Her ten-year-old twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys, are the only ones in the family seen as normal by the outside world.

As if this isn't enough, Mr. Murry, on a top secret government assignment, is missing. One day his letters just stopped and no one has been able to find out what has happened to him.

The story opens with Meg in her attic bedroom, unable to sleep because of a bad storm that threatens to become a hurricane.

She goes downstairs to the kitchen where she finds Charles Wallace heating milk for hot chocolate. Mrs. Murry soon joins them.

While the three of them are having their hot chocolate and sandwiches, Mrs. Whatsit arrives, explaining that she got "blown off course" in the storm.

Charles Wallace has met her before, and tells Meg and their mother that she lives in the house everyone thinks is haunted, with her friends, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which.

After resting a bit and having a sandwich with the Murrys, Mrs. Whatsit prepares to leave. As she pulls on her boots, she says to Mrs. Murry that "there is such a thing as a tesseract", which causes Mrs. Murry to nearly faint.

This was something that Mrs. Murry had discussed with her husband, and she could not imagine how Mrs. Whatsit could know that.

Meg finds out that a tesseract has to do with a scientific idea her father was working on when he disappeared.

The next day when Meg gets home from school, Charles Wallace tells her they need to go see Mrs. Whatsit.

When they are almost there, they come across Calvin O'Keefe. Meg knows him from school. He is a junior, though he is only fourteen years old.

The rest of the book tells the story of how the unearthly trio, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, transport Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin through the universe to find and rescue Mr. Murry.

Scary at times, as they confront The Black Thing, and finally "IT" - pure evil - A Wrinkle in Time has a happy ending with a wonderful message woven into it.



Madeleine L'Engle includes several references to Bible scriptures in the book, yet the critics come from religious groups. Go figure.

Some think it's "too Christian", others, "not Christian enough", that it "undermines religious beliefs".

I don't agree with either of these views. I really like this little book. The worst I can say about A Wrinkle in Time is that it can be frightening at times if you don't know how it ends!



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