Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) was the Newbery Medal-winning author of more than 60 books, including the much-loved A Wrinkle in Time. Born in 1918, L'Engle grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina and Massachusetts. Her father was a reporter and her mother had studied to be a pianist, and their house was always full of musicians and theater people. L'Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, then returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with a play, she wrote her first book, The Small Rain, originally published in 1945. She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in The Cherry Orchard. Upon becoming Mrs. Franklin, L'Engle gave up the stage in favor of the typewriter. In the years her three children were growing up, she wrote four more novels. Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, and the family moved to western Connecticut and for ten years ran a general store. Her book Meet the Austins, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book of 1960, was based on this experience. Her science fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal. Two companion novels, A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (a Newbery Honor book), complete what has come to be known as The Time Trilogy, a series that continues to grow in popularity with a new generation of readers. Her 1980 book A Ring of Endless Light won the Newbery Honor. L'Engle passed away in 2007 in Litchfield, Connecticut.
"A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorite books of all time. I've read it so often, I know it by heart. Meg Murry was my hero growing up. I wanted glasses and braces and my parents to stick me in an attic bedroom. And I so wanted to save Charles Wallace from IT." --Meg Cabot "A book that every young person should read, a book that provides a road map for seeking knowledge and compassion even at the worst of times, a book to make the world a better place." --Cory Doctorow "[L'Engle's] work is one of the things that made me a writer, a science fiction and fantasy fan, an avid reader. Hers were the first books I read that mixed math and magic, the quest and the quantum." --Scott Westerfeld "A Wrinkle in Time taught me that you can tackle even the deepest and most slippery concepts of physics and philosophy in fiction for young readers. It's a great lesson for all writers, and a tough tesseract to follow." --David Lubar
Hope Davis narrates this engaging new audio production of L'Engle's classic novel. When the troubled and underachieving Meg Murry's physicist father goes missing, Meg-along with her younger brother, Charles, and friend Calvin-warps across the universe in an attempt to find him. The trio is aided by three angels, Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which, who use Dr. Murray's mysterious tesseract project to whisk the children through space and time. Davis delivers pitch-perfect narration that captures the spirit of the author's prose. She also creates distinct voices for the book's many characters, most notably the petulant Meg and enthusiastic Calvin. Listeners are in for a real treat-and longtime L'Engle fans will delight in Davis's outstanding performance, which breathes new life into this acclaimed fantasy title. Ages 10-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 5 Up-Generations of readers have treasured this science-fiction classic, so comparisons with the original are inevitable. Larson has remained true to the story, preserving the original chapter format and retaining L'Engle's voice. Black-and-white artwork is accented with blue, echoing the original cover color. Blue shading distinguishes flashbacks. Images of Meg's bruised, expressive face and slouched body shift the focus of the story slightly, making this truly her story, told from her perspective. She is initially portrayed as an "ugly duckling," and her angst and tender feelings are palpable. Larson does an excellent job of building tension. Look for the arrival of Mrs Which, the meeting with IT, and the awe-inspiring approach to Uriel. Imagery of transitions is especially effective. Mrs Whatis's metamorphosis and the dawning of morning after darkness are memorable. Striking black backgrounds with fragmented blue and white outlines perfectly capture tessering sequences. Charles Wallace's demeanor and personality variations are worth noting. Larson's crowning achievement, though, is the noticeable change in Meg's appearance after her encounter with Aunt Beast. Her face and posture portray her maturation and her willingness to not "be afraid to be afraid." However, the expansiveness of travel through time and space seems at odds with the book's trim size. Pages feel somewhat crowded, due to the numerous small panels and relatively dense text. "Playing with time and space is a dangerous game" applies to adapting a literary classic. While some may quibble with specific discrepancies from the original, this book serves as an excellent introduction and companion to a classic children's story.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.