Friday, February 16, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)

Target Ages:  10 and up

Genre:  Fantasy

Award:  Newbery Award and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award

Publisher Summary:
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

Memorable Lines:
Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.

We can’t take credit for out talents.  It’s how we use them that count.

Just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean that the explanation doesn’t exist.

I just finished A Wrinkle in Time for the third time. The first time I read it was in grade school.  I was in college the second time. This time, I listened to it on CD as a refresher for the upcoming movie.

I generally like the protagonist in children’s novels.  However, this one is an exception.  Meg is a bit too whiny and insecure.  She has unrealistic expectations, especially of her father.  She often grated on my nerves. On the plus side, she is a devoted sister and friend.  

The other main characters are likable. Calvin is kind and protective of Meg while being her biggest advocate.  Charles Wallace is wise, brave, and helpful. 

The adults are admirable and trustworthy.  From Mrs. Murry to the three Miss W’s, all the women are strong and smart, but also resourceful and compassionate. Mr. Murry is a devoted father. The Murry’s are steadfast in their commitment to one another despite their involuntary separation.

The plot is paced well. The creatures and planets are imaginative and exciting. However, the ending wrapped up a little too quickly and easily, but it was satisfying.  The main plot points come to a close while leaving it open for the sequel. 

The motifs are powerful—family, love, courage, non-conformity, and friendship.  Children who feel like outsiders—externally or internally—will connect with the heroic trio.  For those who like deeper discussions, there is plenty to mine. 

A Wrinkle in Time was a memorable book for me as a kid.  The unforgettable motifs, characters, and plot have kept it relevant five decades after its first printing. 

Ideas for Extension Activities at Home or Lesson Plans for Teachers:
Teacher’s Guide from MacMillan

For more Middle Grade book recommendations, visit the MMGM round up.  


  1. I have always been a BIG fan of A Wrinkle in Time! The story has always pulled me in, and I can't wait for the movie! Thanks for the review!

  2. One of my favorites. The movie comes out on March 9th and it will be interesting to see how they interpret the book for the screen. I like that more middle grade books are being made into films. Enjoyed your comments!

  3. I was super young when I read this one, and haven't read it since so some of the story has blurred with other books by the author in my mind. I need to reread it, too. Thanks for the reminder and thoughtful review!

  4. Okay, I'll admit it. I can't remember ever reading this book! This one is going on my TBR list along with several others from today's MMGM post list. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I enjoyed your review. I'll have to admit I wasn't a fan of this book when I read it a few years ago. But, it was a first in its time. And, as a child I would have probably loved it! I do look forward to the movie.


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