A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publication Date: First published 1962 this edition published by Dell in 1997
Recommended Age Group: Ages 12 and up
Summary: A Wrinkle in Time is about three children, Meg and Charles Wallace Murry and Calvin O’Keefe, who go on a mission to save the Murry’s father. The story starts out describing Meg who thinks of herself as pretty average and is really smart but is distracted so she isn’t doing very well in school. Her distraction comes from home. Her father who is a scientist who works for the government has been missing for quite some time and there are rumors that he ran off with another woman. These rumors upset the whole family and Meg finds herself unable to concentrate on what she needs to. Charles Wallace is a five-year-old boy who is anything but normal. He has the ability to read what people are thinking and feeling without asking them. He has some interesting friends that live in the woods. These friends go by the names of Mrs. Who Whatsit and Which. We find out later that they were stars who are able to transform themselves into different things (people, centaurs, etc.) and they are also able to Tesser and time travel. Tesser is a way of travel that instead of going from point to point they make things closer by bending space. In the book they explain it as a wrinkle, if an ant were to walk all the way along a piece of fabric it would take him a long time. However, if that same piece of fabric was wrinkled up the ant would not have as far to go. These three women help the children to go find the Murry’s father on a distant planet and they help fight an evil call IT that has taken over the planet. IT is a big brain that has the ability to get into people’s minds and control them. Charles Wallace lets the brain take him over because he thinks he can defeat it that way and losses control. While he is under IT’s control he takes Meg and Calvin to where their father is and eventually they are able to free him. Once they are free Charles Wallace takes them to IT and he almost gets them all under his control when Mr. Murry tessers and frees them from it, but he is unable to take Charles Wallace along. They go to a planet full of giants who do not have eyes and therefore cannot see. These giants help Meg to recover who had a bad experience with the last tesser where she was frozen nearly solid. After they cure her she is sent back to the planet with IT on it and tries to get Charles Wallace back. She tries many ways of fighting IT but they all seem to fail until she remembers the hint that Mrs. Whatsit gave her before she left. Use the one thing he doesn’t have and remember love. She kept telling Charles Wallace how much she loved him and eventually she broke through IT’s powers and they were able to travel home with the help of the three women. The book ends with a happy family reunion and Mr. and Mrs. Murry seeing each other again after a long separation.
Personal Notes: This was a great book for someone who already like Sci-fi/fantasy type books. I think it would be too involved for someone who didn’t really know anything about this genre because it is a really involved book and if you weren’t already thinking without limits some of the contents would be hard to accept and get by. Other than that I thought it was a really good book. I read it when I was in seventh grade and I really enjoyed it a lot more now. I was able to understand a lot more and to appreciate the writing style. However, I do not think it would be too hard for a seventh grader to understand if they were used to reading these types of books.