Girl Reading a Book

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction, Adventure with a valuing the people around you theme and character-driven plot.

Type of reader:

Age range: 9 to 12 years

Length of book:

Series: Book 2 -Sprinkling of Crumbs Series

Reviewed by: Katy Reeve

Author: Madeleine L’Engle

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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? (good reads)

 

This book is an excellent choice if your child:

  • Likes a character-driven plot rather than a fast, action-packed adventure.

  • Is curious about space and time travel.

  • Enjoys deep, character-driven plots such as Harry Potter.

  • Is a Sci-fi fan.

  • Relishes a good battle with the dark forces of evil.

  • Can understand scientific concepts within a storyline.

  • Empathises with characters from different backgrounds and periods of time.

  • Wants to explore family dynamics and sibling relationships.

  • Enjoys gritty, brave and courageous characters (who happen to be female in this story).

  • Enjoys graphic novels (this is an option).
     

This multiple award-winning, American classic for 8 to 12-year-olds lived up to its hype for my family and me. I had read it to my Year 5 class, seventeen years ago, and they loved it – the parents were often waiting at the end of the school day while I read ‘just one last page, please Miss’. The chapters are pretty meaty, so one chapter at the end of each day was realistic. Meg has a mission, to save her dad and find herself along the way. The characters are complex and developed; Meg especially is a great role model for girls and relatable for many children.

 

I have often heard ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ described as a book for all times and all ages, and it certainly seems very relevant today as it explores:
 

  1. Values that are important for human happiness,

  2. The impact of conformity and compliance without questioning,

  3. The importance of kindness, courage and belief in yourself and how to nurture them,

  4. The pitfalls of human ambition, when driven by fear and lack of loyalty.

 

Inspired by Einstein’s theories, L’Engle writes for children in a way that few authors have mastered. Despite the vast difference in genre and style, A Wrinkle in Time reminds me of Roald Dahl in its tone. L’ Engle, like Dahl, respects the intelligence of children as readers, with the assumption that children are smart enough to understand the nuances of humour and life – children seem to thrive on this. There are some fairly deep physics concepts within the context of the book, as L’Engle tries to explain how time travel works, but you can still love it, even if you don’t get every detail, as you flow with the storyline anyway.

Do I think the film is better than the book? My answer is always the same! I love the way you can decide so many things when reading, from the appearance of the characters to the scenery and setting. However, the film with its top-notch cast was a visual treat. The fact that action scenes had not been added to the storyline to make it more mainstream was a massive relief for me and demonstrated that the filmmakers had kept the script faithful to the book.