Sunday, March 18, 2012

MIDDLE GRADE SUNDAY: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 201
Series or Stand Alone: Book one in the Time series
SummaryIt 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". 
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusal book.

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I got a really cool book called A Wrinkle in Time.  I started reading it a bunch of times, but it never caught my fancy the way those damn Babysitter’s Club Books did. Eventually I finished the book, but I never ended up completing the series. When the 50th anniversary of the book came around, I realized that I didn’t remember most things about the story. I picked it up again in order to rediscover the story.
Meg Murry’s life is not going in a great direction. She constantly gets into trouble at school, often fights her peers for their mocking her five year old brother, and worst of all, her father is missing. Luckily, the Murry family is so awesome that Meg can find solace in her home life, along with her new friend Calvin. When five-year-old Charles Wallace reveals a mysterious stranger and a plan to rescue Mr. Murry, Meg agrees. Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin end up wrinkling through time in order to save Mr. Murry and bring the family back together.
Meg Murry is a great protagonist. She doesn’t fit in at all. In a time where females were expected to be demure, Meg is argumentative and not afraid to throw herself into a scuffle if someone insults Charles Wallace. At the opening of the story, she has a black eye for this exact reason. She doesn’t get along with her classmates and she doesn’t change herself to do so.
A Wrinkle in Time is more of a classic time travel-fantasy-adventure novel with weird non-human companions (i.e., Mrs. Whatsit) and a non-human villain. There is a mini love story between Meg and Calvin (which is adorable) but family is clearly what is important in this novel. The Murry family is awesome together. Also, I want Charles Wallace to be my brilliant younger brother. His overly polite and formal demeanor made him delightful.
A Wrinkle in Time is a great read that I wish I had appreciated more when I was a child. I would advise anyone to read it, especially if they couldn’t get into it as a kid. L’Engle’s classic stories of time should definitely be revisited! I’ll be continuing on with the series as soon as I can find them in my basement. Which could actually take awhile.

Rating: 5 - fantastic

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