Series: Time Quintet #1
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux on April 2010 (first published 1962)
Genres: Classic, Fantasy, Middle School
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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?
A Wrinkle in Time was a re-read for me, but I read it first back when I was like 10 or so and remembered absolutely nothing about it. I’ve been seeing the commercials for the new Disney movie too, but they’re not really a good representation of the book.
Meg is a smart kid, but has trouble fitting in at school. Everyone thinks Charles Wallace, her little brother is dumb, but really he knows so much more than anyone. Calvin is a popular kid in school who never feels like he fits in, but he fakes “normal” well enough. The three of them go on a mission to save Meg’s dad, a scientist who went missing, with the help of a trio of beings, Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which.
This is a middle school book that deals with physics and religion, belief and identity, but it does so lightly. It’s a fantasy/sci-fi story and the three kids have been thrust into the middle of the battle between Good and Evil. Meg is our heroine and we learn along with her in the power of love, that sometimes you need to be brave even when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes parents can’t fix everything even if they want to.
I’m surprised I didn’t remember at least a bit about the planets and beings the kids meet. Camazotz is creepy, in a way that only good dystopians can be. Aunt Beast is so wise and gentle and totally alien. I’m also surprised I didn’t pick it up to read with Amber when she was little. We read a fair number of children’s classics, but never got around to this one.
This is definitely a Christian book, complete with Biblical quotes, but it didn’t seem preachy to me. I think that most of the story is universal, good vs evil, family, the need to fit in somewhere. And for most kids, girls especially, it’s an adventure story with a heroine they can relate too, who isn’t perfect, who can be stubborn and mean, but also smart and brave and caring.
The ending was a little abrupt for me. It’s a happy ending, but I wanted a bit more.