About Me

My photo

Transplanted to Miami, FL, from Iowa City, IA. Trying to find a balance between reading, knitting, playing mom taxi, and enjoying the sun and sand in Miami.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

My latest book from my female sci-fi/fantasy author's list is Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.
It is a book I had read when I was younger, elementary school or junior high. I didn't remember much about it, I remembered there was another book of hers I had liked better, but it doesn't fit the sci-fi/fantasy genre. (Anyone who is curious, the title is And Both Were Young).

A Wrinkle in Time is a Newberry Award winner, and was published in 1962. It is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year. I'm assuming most people have read the book, but I'll try to steer clear of spoilers, just in case.

The main characters of the story are Meg and Charles Wallace Murray, and their new friend Calvin. The young people are led off on a mission to rescue Meg's father by Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs What. This is a great adventure story and a great coming of age story. Meg is just hopeless at fitting in at school, she looks awkward and is good at math, but doesn't even try when it comes to other subjects. Calvin is odd in his own way, but he manages to appear normal enough to fit in at school. Charles Wallace, well he is a truly precocious four year old.

A Wrinkle in Time was a jumping off point for a whole series of adventures, and I plan to read the rest of them. Although, I am pretty sure I read many of them when I was younger, that was many years, and many books ago.

The Kindle copy of the book that I read had a Q & A with Ms. L'Engle after the story. One thing that struck me from the Q & A was her mention of reading and loving the books of L.M. Montgomery, who wrote Anne of Green Gables. Based on the kinship chart in the back of A Wrinkle in Time, I would guess that L'Engle was influenced by the way Montgomery's Anne books follow Anne and then go on to follow her children.

This book has the classic opening line:
"It was a dark and stormy night."

But, the description of the storm that followed was what really hit home to me how talented L'Engle was. 

"...watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. every few moments the moon ripped through them creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground."

The part of the book that I loved the most, was her included Newberry acceptance speech. I'll provide a link here. The quote I loved was this:

"Because of the very nature of the world as it is today, our children receive in school a heavy load of scientific and analytic subject, so it is in their reading for fun, for pleasure that they must be guided into creativity."

She goes on to comment about standardization, and this speech was given in 1963, but I think it is especially relevant today.

I am a mother to two young boys, both reluctant readers. But, I have always felt it is very important to help them find things to read for pleasure. It is a challenge, but one that I feel is worth the effort. 

To wrap this up then, I'm going to give A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle, 5 Stars.
The story is engaging, and I think important, as is the author herself.