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Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Wrinkle in Time | Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time is a young-adult fantasy novel about three kids (Meg, an awkward, impatient, mathematical genius; Charles Wallace, Meg’s younger brother who is a child genius that reads minds; and Calvin, their new older friend that is looking for a family to accept him) that go searching for their missing physicist father. They get the help from three bizarre older women who take them on their journey traveling through time and space. 

This was a pretty quick read and I really liked L’Engle’s descriptions. This is one book where I could feel myself really picturing the new worlds and the situations. That is a quality that’s hard to find in books. I also enjoyed her explanation of time travel. She utilizes complex physics and mathematics in a way that even a child reader could understand—at least on the surface-level. I was also impressed that a book from the 1960’s featured a strong female heroine who is gifted in mathematics—but that’s where my admiration for this book stops. 

I get annoyed with books where all of the important information is revealed via dialogue, but it is only revealed a little at a time. Our impatient heroine, Meg, keeps asking the same questions over and over again. The responses are usually along the lines of, “Well I know the answer, but I cannot tell you right now for some unknown reason. Let’s wait until we walk over to this other room in two more chapters before I reveal the answer.” It seems like a pathetic attempt to drag the reader along. I much prefer books where the hero/heroine discovers the answers on their own, not from another character. I also get annoyed with books that have a subtle-but-not-so-subtle religious undertone. I have no problem with religious books, but they should own up to it. I hate books that go on acting like a fantasy story, but in the last few chapters they’re like, “Oh, by the way, this whole book was religious…we just didn’t tell you until now.” It makes me want to roll my eyes by that point. 

I think this book has a great overall concept, but it lost me in the execution. It has one of the most easily understandable forms of time-travel, so I think that children would get a lot of enjoyment from it. I would probably recommend this book to middle schoolers who are intrigued by time travel or mathematics. It wasn’t a horrible book, but I did have to force myself to finish it. Therefore, I can’t give this book any more than two stars. 

Let me know what you think if you have read this book!

 **   2/5 Stars