A Wrinkle in Time

Mass Market Paperback | May 1, 2007

byMadeleine L'engle

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Madeleine L'Engle's ground-breaking science fiction and fantasy classic, soon to be a major motion picture.

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 sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. It is the first book in The Time Quintet, which consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.

A Wrinkle in Time is soon to be a movie from Disney, directed by Ava DuVernay, starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling.

This title has Common Core connections.

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From the Publisher

Madeleine L'Engle's ground-breaking science fiction and fantasy classic, soon to be a major motion picture.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 g...

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 mu...

other books by Madeleine L'engle

The Wrinkle in Time Quintet - Digest Size Boxed Set
The Wrinkle in Time Quintet - Digest Size Boxed Set

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A Wrinkle in Time Trilogy
A Wrinkle in Time Trilogy

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A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel
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see all books by Madeleine L'engle
Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 6.81 × 4.26 × 0.61 inPublished:May 1, 2007Publisher:Square FishLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312367554

ISBN - 13:9780312367558

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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Customer Reviews of A Wrinkle in Time


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing A really unique and wonderful book. Strange, but good.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Wrinkle In Time is from its Time For a long time now, in this here galaxy, I have wanted to read A Wrinkle In Time. And after Chelsea Clinton mentioned this book at the 2016 Democratic Convention, I figured the time for Time was now. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle and was published in 1963. It became an instant classic for young readers, and somewhat hotly debated as well. This first book of a multipart epic comes with a rather large family tree chart, so you know going in how massive this will become. The story picks up with 13 year old Meg who feels awkward in life and slightly lost in her large family. Complicating matters is worrying about her scientist father, who has gone mysteriously missing. Then one dark and stormy night (this is where that famous saying comes from), while talking to her scientist mother and supersmart little brother, she meets the strange new neighbours. This leads to a galactic quest, with her said younger brother, Charles, and a local teen boy named Calvin, that is facilitated by the neighbours. They travel magically or by super science, take your pick, to other worlds and learn new things and face all sorts of dangers as they get closer and closer to the missing father. A Wrinkle In Time is a young adult novel which very much feels like the time period it was written in. This is not a criticism, but this did not feel timeless like Margaret did. One very important factor that does greatly elevate Wrinkle, and helps not making the material feel slightly less dated, is that the main character is Meg, the teen girl. Her courage and love and perseverance are what helps win the day, and for 1963 is quite refreshing. What dates A Wrinkle In Time is the straddling of religion and science in virtually all aspects of this story. This constant theme was something that I knew would have been controversial at the time, and when I looked it up, was proven right. The 1960’s new age hippie ideals of being religious, while still worshipping science, was a hot topic for many. The traditional versus the new. And A Wrinkle In Time while liberally mentioning God and faith and love, it also very much integrates regular science and at the time, and still is, theoretical science. L’Engle goes to great lengths to explain virtually all that is going on using very scientific concepts, heavily talked about by Charles and the otherwordly neighbours. But at the same time, faith is what helps saves the day. This delicate balancing act feels like trying to please two masters, if you are a pessimist, or bringing us the best of both worlds, if you are an optimist. This hard to perform situation, in which I firmly believe L’Engle completely is into, and should be applauded for especially in 1963, means that if you are easily offended from either side, then you will be easily offended. But taken from the context of society and religion and science of that long ago era, this duality makes certain chunks of A Wrinkle Of Time feel clunky at times. In fact, those parts come across rather lecturey to me. Which brings up the weakest part, and the most 1960s society feel to it, is the Big Bad of the piece. Just slap “Evil Russian Overlord Mastermind” on him and call it a day. It is not murky in the slightest what L’Engle is getting at here. While A Wrinkle In Time was not a youth book that resonated with me as an adult, I can fully see the appeal for the under 12 set. The philosophies and adventure would set off the thinking processes, which is always a good thing. Also, as I mentioned earlier, having the star of the story being an intelligent brave teen girl who saves the day, was revolutionary at the time, and would appeal to Hermione and Katniss fans today. I am glad to have made the time to enjoy A Wrinkle In Time, but I am fine with not continuing on with the series.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very well done! #plumreview I had heard of this book many times but never got around to reading it. Now I'm glad I did. Thoroughly enjoyed it and will be passing it along to my grandchildren.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Classic This story is a classic, for obvious reasons. So much excitement and travel through time and space makes it the ultimate intro to sci-fi. The ending is a little fluffy though!
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable! I didn't think I'd like this book as it has a lot of fantastical elements that may be catered to a younger demographic, however, I found it quite enjoyable. I believe a film is in the works and I'm pretty curious to see it come to life.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book is amazing! I loved it the first time I read it and love it still
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Imagination I loved this book as a child, and still do as an adult. It sparked my young imagination. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! I accidentally purchased the graphic novel when I wanted the actual novel but this version turned out to be pretty cool! Enjoyed it!
Date published: 2015-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I've ever read! This book was amazing when I was a kid, and it's just as good as an adult. A tremendous story that everybody should read!
Date published: 2014-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Wrinkle In Time A fiction book for kids that cater to all age group. A story about the real world and fantasy. The story touches on Science, time travel, Universe, Literature, Languages, family, Angels, Religion and love. A must read! I heard the graphic novel version makes a good addition to one's book collection.
Date published: 2014-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A classic A really good book that I remembered reading in school and have reread a bunch of times since.
Date published: 2013-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Son read it and loved it! It was so fun reading this with him! I forgot how good this book was!
Date published: 2013-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Book From My Youth - Just as Great Now as Then I first read "A Wrinkle in Time" when I was a young girl. I thought it was a great book then and it's still a great book. After finding out that one of the younger members in our book club had never heard of this book, never mind read it, we decided we had to rectify that by choosing it as this month's main read. The over-lying basics of a science fiction/fantasy book are very apparent in "A Wrinkle in Time": time travel, other life forms, planets, and stars that leave behind their soul when they die. What's also so evident in this book is the battle between good and evil, love and hate, God, individuality, personal strength, and acceptance for those who are "different' and the gifts they hold. You can't help but fall in love with all of the characters in this book. I haven't read any of the other books in Madeleine L'Engle's books that feature Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin...but I just might...
Date published: 2011-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Fun! A winrkle in time is a favourite loved by many children. Reading it for the first time in grade 5, I found that it had many elements that kept me guessing and wanting to know more. There's the magical elements, which inlcludes the magical places they visit. There's the suprising elements when things don't go the children's way or they have to learn to deal with a new situation. There is the accomplishment element, when the children reunite with a lost loved one. So many more! Great book to read to your children or for them to read themselves. There are also three more follow up books which ensures that the journeys never end! Great book, and great author! I also have other books that she has written. These specific books capture the imagination of children and clearly leave a long lasting impression on them as well. I would reccomend this book to anyone with young children or if they, themselves are young at heart. It's just a world that you could get lost in for hours (reading about it of course!) If you have read this book, and did enjoy it, I definiately reccommend the corressponding books as well as anything else written by Madeleine L'Engle. She has made her way into my list of top authors for sure!
Date published: 2010-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A really good book We had to read this book in English class and I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed this book because it has a lot of details and it is exciting. I couldn't wait to read the end so I can find out what happens. I think that people in high school and up because sometimes it is hard to read. But I highly recommend it. i didn't really like the end because it was boring.
Date published: 2009-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from There is a reason this is a classic I just finished Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. I really liked it. I was a little confused at first but decided to just roll with it. As I was reading I started to wish I read it as a kid when everything was possible. I think it would have made more sense at the beginning too. I found myself thinking too linearly to full get what was going on. I had to consciously tell myself not to try to make sense out of certain things. Overall fantastic story, everyone must read this one at least once.
Date published: 2009-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly a Classic I'm fully grown and I still love this book. A quicky mixture of sci-fi and philosophy thats still fun to read.
Date published: 2009-03-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from not what I was expecting Didn't like it ... I"m not the audience that it was intended for (ages 9-12 - I think), but still - the main character - Meg ... was infuriating. The 3 witches were ... lacking ... i just didn't like it. I thought it was going to be a much better read then it turned out to be. I'd recommend Edward Tulane over this one ... any day .... but ... then again ... the two are not really in the same realm ... this one is for readers who liked Philip Pullmans dark materials series ... another one I didn't seem to see what all the buzz was about.
Date published: 2009-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An important novel that teaches us about ourselves No other young adult fiction that I’ve come across has been as spiritually themed as A Wrinkle in Time, a story that is intrinsically pure in its message of faith, hope and belief in goodness. For some, this is precisely the reason they turn away from it, but for me, it is just another reason to embrace it. The fight between good and evil is left in the hands of three children; Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend, Calvin. As they voyage through space and time using the fifth dimension and the assistance of three bewildering ‘ladies,’ they must penetrate the shadowing 'Black Thing,' and confront its brain, the evil and poisonous ' IT.' For Meg and Charles Wallace, the significance of their journey is tenfold as they bear the responsibility of trying to locate and free their father from this unknown dimension and its demonic clutches. Madeleine E’ngle has created a world where we can acknowledge and appreciate that humans are flawed, that pride and arrogance defeat us and that sometimes only a willing suspension of disbelief can keep us from losing our way. We become vigilantly aware that it is the ignorance and fear of the different or unknown that plagues humanity, and that patience, sacrifice and love are all necessary shields that need bear in the face of conflict. I look forward to sharing this extraordinary story with any and everyone I can. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2009-02-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great read Meg and her little brother, Charles go out to find their father with three strange beings...whule their mother has no knowledge of them. Both parents are scientists, resulting the father getting trapped in another dimension. In this strange dimension. Will they find their father and escape safely? Will they be a happy family? This was the very first science-fiction I've ever read.
Date published: 2008-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wrinkle I read this such along time ago. I really loved it though it is truly one of classics of children's literature.
Date published: 2008-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tremendous!!! I read this book back in the mid-1970s. I've re-read it and the series several times. Its the type of book that can be re-read much more than 1 time.
Date published: 2007-02-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible!!!!! Dont waste your time reading this book, its a bad book
Date published: 2006-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Out of this world The first time I ever read this book was in grade 4. I had to do a book report over the Christmas holiday and since my sister has left quite a collection of books for me she recommended this one. Now, I may have been a little young but I assure you it had the same impact on me as if I were 50 and reading the same novel. It's a story about a girl who has an undying love for her younger sibling and this story accounts her journey through time and space. It opens up a world that you thought would never exist and books like this help us to realize that there is a world beyond our imaganiation.
Date published: 2000-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All Time Favorite About 13 years ago when I was in gr. 5 my teacher read this book to the class. I enjoyed it so much that I begged my parents to order it for me. Since I have read this book 7 times and placed an order for it so that I can lend it to my book club. This book is a combination of adventure and science fiction. It is very creative, detailed and fun to read. Although it is a short book the author does a wonderful job creating an alternate world for the reader and bringing the book to a close without having the reader feel as though there should be more. I strongly recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 9 - 199. Thanks.
Date published: 2000-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another "Alice" This is another of those wonderful books that you can read as a young adult for the adventure story and the sci fi, and then rediscover as an adult for the philosophy. I first read it in Grade 8 and find myself rereading it over and over at the ripe age of...well, never mind, but almost twenty years later. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2000-01-29

Extra Content

Read from the Book

A Wrinkle in Time: 50th Anniversary Edition1MRS WHATSITIT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT.In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and 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 house shook.Wrapped in her quilt, Meg shook.She wasn't usually afraid of weather.--It's not just the weather, she thought.--It's the weather on top of everything else. On top of me. On top of Meg Murry doing everything wrong.School. School was all wrong. She'd been dropped down to the lowest section in her grade. That morning one of her teachers had said crossly, "Really, Meg, I don't understand how a childwith parents as brilliant as yours are supposed to be can be such a poor student. If you don't manage to do a little better you'll have to stay back next year."During lunch she'd roughhoused a little to try to make herself feel better, and one of the girls said scornfully, "After all, Meg, we aren't grade-school kids anymore. Why do you always act like such a baby?"And on the way home from school, as she walked up the road with her arms full of books, one of the boys had said something about her "dumb baby brother." At this she'd thrown the books on the side of the road and tackled him with every ounce of strength she had, and arrived home with her blouse torn and a big bruise under one eye.Sandy and Dennys, her ten-year-old twin brothers, who got home from school an hour earlier than she did, were disgusted. "Let us do the fighting when it's necessary," they told her.--A delinquent, that's what I am, she thought grimly. --That's what they'll be saying next. Not Mother. But Them. Everybody Else. I wish Father--But it was still not possible to think about her father without the danger of tears. Only her mother could talk about him in a natural way, saying, "When your father gets back--"Gets back from where? And when? Surely her mother must know what people were saying, must be aware of the smugly vicious gossip. Surely it must hurt her as it did Meg. But if it did she gave no outward sign. Nothing ruffled the serenity of her expression.--Why can't I hide it, too? Meg thought. Why do I always have to show everything?The window rattled madly in the wind, and she pulled the quilt close about her. Curled up on one of her pillows, a gray fluff of kitten yawned, showing its pink tongue, tucked its head under again, and went back to sleep.Everybody was asleep. Everybody except Meg. Even Charles Wallace, the "dumb baby brother," who had an uncanny way of knowing when she was awake and unhappy, and who would come, so many nights, tiptoeing up the attic stairs to her--even Charles Wallace was asleep.How could they sleep? All day on the radio there had been hurricane warnings. How could they leave her up in the attic in the rickety brass bed, knowing that the roof might be blown right off the house and she tossed out into the wild night sky to land who knows where?Her shivering grew uncontrollable.--You asked to have the attic bedroom, she told herself savagely.--Mother let you have it because you're the oldest. It's a privilege, not a punishment."Not during a hurricane, it isn't a privilege," she said aloud. She tossed the quilt down on the foot of the bed, and stood up. The kitten stretched luxuriously, and looked up at her with huge, innocent eyes."Go back to sleep," Meg said. "Just be glad you're a kitten and not a monster like me." She looked at herself in the wardrobe mirror and made a horrible face, baring a mouthful of teethcovered with braces. Automatically she pushed her glasses into position, ran her fingers through her mouse-brown hair, so that it stood wildly on end, and let out a sigh almost as noisy as the wind.The wide wooden floorboards were cold against her feet. Wind blew in the crevices about the window frame, in spite of the protection the storm sash was supposed to offer. She could hear wind howling in the chimneys. From all the way downstairs she could hear Fortinbras, the big black dog, starting to bark. He must be frightened, too. What was he barking at? Fortinbras never barked without reason.Suddenly she remembered that when she had gone to the post office to pick up the mail she'd heard about a tramp who was supposed to have stolen twelve sheets from Mrs. Buncombe, the constable's wife. They hadn't caught him, and maybe he was heading for the Murrys' house right now, isolated on a back road as it was; and this time maybe he'd be after more than sheets. Meg hadn't paid much attention to the talk about the tramp at the time, because the postmistress, with a sugary smile, had asked if she'd heard from her father lately.She left her little room and made her way through the shadows of the main attic, bumping against the ping-pong table. --Now I'll have a bruise on my hip on top of everything else, she thought.Next she walked into her old dolls' house, Charles Wallace's rocking horse, the twins' electric trains. "Why must everything happen to me?" she demanded of a large teddy bear.At the foot of the attic stairs she stood still and listened. Nota sound from Charles Wallace's room on the right. On the left, in her parents' room, not a rustle from her mother sleeping alone in the great double bed. She tiptoed down the hall and into the twins' room, pushing again at her glasses as though they could help her to see better in the dark. Dennys was snoring. Sandy murmured something about baseball and subsided. The twins didn't have any problems. They weren't great students, but they weren't bad ones, either. They were perfectly content with a succession of B's and an occasional A or C. They were strong and fast runners and good at games, and when cracks were made about anybody in the Murry family, they weren't made about Sandy and Dennys.She left the twins' room and went on downstairs, avoiding the creaking seventh step. Fortinbras had stopped barking. It wasn't the tramp this time, then. Fort would go on barking if anybody was around.--But suppose the tramp does come? Suppose he has a knife? Nobody lives near enough to hear if we screamed and screamed and screamed. Nobody'd care, anyhow.--I'll make myself some cocoa, she decided.--That'll cheer me up, and if the roof blows off, at least I won't go off with it.In the kitchen a light was already on, and Charles Wallace was sitting at the table drinking milk and eating bread and jam. He looked very small and vulnerable sitting there alone in the big old-fashioned kitchen, a blond little boy in faded blue Dr. Dentons, his feet swinging a good six inches above the floor."Hi," he said cheerfully. "I've been waiting for you."From under the table where he was lying at Charles Wallace'sfeet, hoping for a crumb or two, Fortinbras raised his slender dark head in greeting to Meg, and his tail thumped against the floor. Fortinbras had arrived on their doorstep, a half-grown puppy, scrawny and abandoned, one winter night. He was, Meg's father had decided, part Llewellyn setter and part greyhound, and he had a slender, dark beauty that was all his own."Why didn't you come up to the attic?" Meg asked her brother, speaking as though he were at least her own age. "I've been scared stiff.""Too windy up in that attic of yours," the little boy said. "I knew you'd be down. I put some milk on the stove for you. It ought to be hot by now."How did Charles Wallace always know about her? How could he always tell? He never knew--or seemed to care--what Dennys or Sandy were thinking. It was his mother's mind, and Meg's, that he probed with frightening accuracy.Was it because people were a little afraid of him that they whispered about the Murrys' youngest child, who was rumored to be not quite bright? "I've heard that clever people often have subnormal children," Meg had once overheard. "The two boys seem to be nice, regular children, but that unattractive girl and the baby boy certainly aren't all there."It was true that Charles Wallace seldom spoke when anybody was around, so that many people thought he'd never learned to talk. And it was true that he hadn't talked at all until he was almost four. Meg would turn white with fury when people looked at him and clucked, shaking their heads sadly."Don't worry about Charles Wallace, Meg," her father hadonce told her. Meg remembered it very clearly because it was shortly before he went away. "There's nothing the matter with his mind. He just does things in his own way and in his own time.""I don't want him to grow up to be dumb like me," Meg had said."Oh, my darling, you're not dumb," her father answered. "You're like Charles Wallace. Your development has to go at its own pace. It just doesn't happen to be the usual pace.""How do you know?" Meg had demanded. "How do you know I'm not dumb? Isn't it just because you love me?""I love you, but that's not what tells me. Mother and I've given you a number of tests, you know."Yes, that was true. Meg had realized that some of the "games" her parents played with her were tests of some kind, and that there had been more for her and Charles Wallace than for the twins. "IQ tests, you mean?""Yes, some of them.""Is my IQ okay?""More than okay.""What is it?""That I'm not going to tell you. But it assures me that both you and Charles Wallace will be able to do pretty much whatever you like when you grow up yourselves. You just wait till Charles Wallace starts to talk. You'll see."How right he had been about that, though he himself had left before Charles Wallace began to speak, suddenly, with none of the usual baby preliminaries, using entire sentences. How proud he would have been!"You'd better check the milk," Charles Wallace said to Meg now, his diction clearer and cleaner than that of most five-year-olds. "You know you don't like it when it gets a skin on top.""You put in more than twice enough milk." Meg peered into the saucepan.Charles Wallace nodded serenely. "I thought Mother might like some.""I might like what?" a voice said, and there was their mother standing in the doorway."Cocoa," Charles Wallace said. "Would you like a liverwurst-and-cream-cheese sandwich? I'll be happy to make you one.""That would be lovely," Mrs. Murry said, "but I can make it myself if you're busy.""No trouble at all." Charles Wallace slid down from his chair and trotted over to the refrigerator, his pajamaed feet padding softly as a kitten's. "How about you, Meg?" he asked. "Sandwich?""Yes, please," she said. "But not liverwurst. Do we have any tomatoes?"Charles Wallace peered into the crisper. "One. All right if I use it on Meg, Mother?""To what better use could it be put?" Mrs. Murry smiled. "But not so loud, please, Charles. That is, unless you want the twins downstairs, too.""Let's be exclusive," Charles Wallace said. "That's my new word for the day. Impressive, isn't it?""Prodigious," Mrs. Murry said. "Meg, come let me look at that bruise."Meg knelt at her mother's feet. The warmth and light ofthe kitchen had relaxed her so that her attic fears were gone. The cocoa steamed fragrantly in the saucepan; geraniums bloomed on the windowsills and there was a bouquet of tiny yellow chrysanthemums in the center of the table. The curtains, red, with a blue-and-green geometrical pattern, were drawn, and seemed to reflect their cheerfulness throughout the room. The furnace purred like a great, sleepy animal; the lights glowed with steady radiance; outside, alone in the dark, the wind still battered against the house, but the angry power that had frightened Meg while she was alone in the attic was subdued by the familiar comfort of the kitchen. Underneath Mrs. Murry's chair Fortinbras let out a contented sigh.Mrs. Murry gently touched Meg's bruised cheek. Meg looked up at her mother, half in loving admiration, half in sullen resentment. It was not an advantage to have a mother who was a scientist and a beauty as well. Mrs. Murry's flaming red hair, creamy skin, and violet eyes with long dark lashes, seemed even more spectacular in comparison with Meg's outrageous plainness. Meg's hair had been passable as long as she wore it tidily in braids. When she went into high school it was cut, and now she and her mother struggled with putting it up, but one side would come out curly and the other straight, so that she looked even plainer than before."You don't know the meaning of moderation, do you, my darling?" Mrs. Murry asked. "A happy medium is something I wonder if you'll ever learn. That's a nasty bruise the Henderson boy gave you. By the way, shortly after you'd gone to bed his mother called up to complain about how badly you'd hurt him.I told her that since he's a year older and at least twenty-five pounds heavier than you are, I thought I was the one who ought to be doing the complaining. But she seemed to think it was all your fault.""I suppose that depends on how you look at it," Meg said. "Usually, no matter what happens, people think it's my fault, even if I have nothing to do with it at all. But I'm sorry I tried to fight him. It's just been an awful week. And I'm full of bad feeling."Mrs. Murry stroked Meg's shaggy head. "Do you know why?""I hate being an oddball," Meg said. "It's hard on Sandy and Dennys, too. I don't know if they're really like everybody else, or if they're just able to pretend they are. I try to pretend, but it isn't any help.""You're much too straightforward to be able to pretend to be what you aren't," Mrs. Murry said. "I'm sorry, Meglet. Maybe if Father were here he could help you, but I don't think I can do anything till you've managed to plow through some more time. Then things will be easier for you. But that isn't much help right now, is it?""Maybe if I weren't so repulsive-looking--maybe if I were pretty like you--""Mother's not a bit pretty; she's beautiful," Charles Wallace announced, slicing liverwurst. "Therefore I bet she was awful at your age.""How right you are," Mrs. Murry said. "Just give yourself time, Meg.""Lettuce on your sandwich, Mother?" Charles Wallace asked."No, thanks."He cut the sandwich into sections, put it on a plate, and set it in front of his mother. "Yours'll be along in just a minute, Meg. I think I'll talk to Mrs Whatsit about you.""Who's Mrs Whatsit?" Meg asked."I think I want to be exclusive about her for a while," Charles Wallace said. "Onion salt?""Yes, please.""What's Mrs Whatsit stand for?" Mrs. Murry asked."That's her name," Charles Wallace answered. "You know the old shingled house back in the woods that the kids won't go near because they say it's haunted? That's where they live.""They?""Mrs Whatsit and her two friends. I was out with Fortinbras a couple of days ago--you and the twins were at school, Meg. We like to walk in the woods, and suddenly he took off after a squirrel and I took off after him and we ended up by the haunted house, so I met them by accident, as you might say.""But nobody lives there," Meg said."Mrs Whatsit and her friends do. They're very enjoyable.""Why didn't you tell me about it before?" Mrs. Murry asked. "And you know you're not supposed to go off our property without permission, Charles.""I know," Charles said. "That's one reason I didn't tell you. I just rushed off after Fortinbras without thinking. And then I decided, well, I'd better save them for an emergency, anyhow."A fresh gust of wind took the house and shook it, and suddenly the rain began to lash against the windows."I don't think I like this wind," Meg said nervously."We'll lose some shingles off the roof, that's certain," Mrs. Murry said. "But this house has stood for almost two hundred years and I think it will last a little longer, Meg. There's been many a high wind up on this hill.""But this is a hurricane!" Meg wailed. "The radio kept saying it was a hurricane!""It's October," Mrs. Murry told her. "There've been storms in October before."As Charles Wallace gave Meg her sandwich Fortinbras came out from under the table. He gave a long, low growl, and they could see the dark fur slowly rising on his back. Meg felt her own skin prickle."What's wrong?" she asked anxiously.Fortinbras stared at the door that opened into Mrs. Murry's laboratory, which was in the old stone dairy right off the kitchen. Beyond the lab a pantry led outdoors, though Mrs. Murry had done her best to train the family to come into the house through the garage door or the front door and not through her lab. But it was the lab door and not the garage door toward which Fortinbras was growling."You didn't leave any nasty-smelling chemicals cooking over a Bunsen burner, did you, Mother?" Charles Wallace asked.Mrs. Murry stood up. "No. But I think I'd better go see what's upsetting Fort, anyhow.""It's the tramp, I'm sure it's the tramp," Meg said nervously."What tramp?" Charles Wallace asked."They were saying at the post office this afternoon that a tramp stole all Mrs. Buncombe's sheets.""We'd better sit on the pillowcases, then," Mrs. Murry said lightly. "I don't think even a tramp would be out on a night like this, Meg.""But that's probably why he is out," Meg wailed, "trying to find a place not to be out.""In which case I'll offer him the barn till morning." Mrs. Murry went briskly to the door."I'll go with you." Meg's voice was shrill."No, Meg, you stay with Charles and eat your sandwich.""Eat!" Meg exclaimed as Mrs. Murry went out through the lab. "How does she expect me to eat?""Mother can take care of herself," Charles said. "Physically, that is." But he sat in his father's chair at the table and his legs kicked at the rungs; and Charles Wallace, unlike most small children, had the ability to sit still.After a few moments that seemed like forever to Meg, Mrs. Murry came back in, holding the door open for--was it the tramp? It seemed small for Meg's idea of a tramp. The age or sex was impossible to tell, for it was completely bundled up in clothes. Several scarves of assorted colors were tied about the head, and a man's felt hat perched atop. A shocking-pink stole was knotted about a rough overcoat, and black rubber boots covered the feet."Mrs Whatsit," Charles said suspiciously, "what are you doing here? And at this time of night, too?""Now, don't you be worried, my honey." A voice emerged fromamong turned-up coat collar, stole, scarves, and hat, a voice like an unoiled gate, but somehow not unpleasant."Mrs--uh--Whatsit--says she lost her way," Mrs. Murry said. "Would you care for some hot chocolate, Mrs Whatsit?""Charmed, I'm sure," Mrs Whatsit answered, taking off the hat and the stole. "It isn't so much that I lost my way as that I got blown off course. And when I realized that I was at little Charles Wallace's house I thought I'd just come in and rest a bit before proceeding on my way.""How did you know this was Charles Wallace's house?" Meg asked."By the smell." Mrs Whatsit untied a blue-and-green paisley scarf, a red-and-yellow flowered print, a gold Liberty print, a red-and-black bandanna. Under all this a sparse quantity of grayish hair was tied in a small but tidy knot on top of her head. Her eyes were bright, her nose a round, soft blob, her mouth puckered like an autumn apple. "My, but it's lovely and warm in here," she said."Do sit down." Mrs. Murry indicated a chair. "Would you like a sandwich, Mrs Whatsit? I've had liverwurst and cream cheese; Charles has had bread and jam; and Meg, lettuce and tomato.""Now, let me see," Mrs Whatsit pondered. "I'm passionately fond of Russian caviar.""You peeked!" Charles cried indignantly. "We're saving that for Mother's birthday and you can't have any!"Mrs Whatsit gave a deep and pathetic sigh."No," Charles said. "Now, you mustn't give in to her, Mother, or I shall be very angry. How about tuna-fish salad?""All right," Mrs Whatsit said meekly."I'll fix it," Meg offered, going to the pantry for a can of tuna fish.--For crying out loud, she thought,--this old woman comes barging in on us in the middle of the night and Mother takes it as though there weren't anything peculiar about it at all. I'll bet she is the tramp. I'll bet she did steal those sheets. And she's certainly no one Charles Wallace ought to be friends with, especially when he won't even talk to ordinary people."I've only been in the neighborhood a short time," Mrs Whatsit was saying as Meg switched off the pantry light and came back into the kitchen with the tuna fish, "and I didn't think I was going to like the neighbors at all until dear little Charles came over with his dog.""Mrs Whatsit," Charles Wallace demanded severely, "why did you take Mrs. Buncombe's sheets?""Well, I needed them, Charles dear.""You must return them at once.""But Charles, dear, I can't. I've used them.""It was very wrong of you," Charles Wallace scolded. "If you needed sheets that badly, you should have asked me."Mrs Whatsit shook her head and clucked. "You can't spare any sheets. Mrs. Buncombe can."Meg cut up some celery and mixed it in with the tuna. After a moment's hesitation she opened the refrigerator door and brought out ajar of little sweet pickles.--Though why I'm doing it for her I don't know, she thought, as she cut them up.--I don't trust her one bit."Tell your sister I'm all right," Mrs Whatsit said to Charles. "Tell her my intentions are good.""The road to hell is paved with good intentions," Charles intoned."My, but isn't he cunning." Mrs Whatsit beamed at him fondly. "It's lucky he has someone to understand him.""But I'm afraid he doesn't," Mrs. Murry said. "None of us is quite up to Charles.""But at least you aren't trying to squash him down." Mrs Whatsit nodded her head vigorously. "You're letting him be himself.""Here's your sandwich," Meg said, bringing it to Mrs Whatsit."Do you mind if I take off my boots before I eat?" Mrs Whatsit asked, picking up the sandwich nevertheless. "Listen." She moved her feet up and down in her boots, and they could hear water squelching. "My toes are ever so damp. The trouble is that these boots are a mite too tight for me, and I never can take them off by myself.""I'll help you," Charles offered."Not you. You're not strong enough.""I'll help." Mrs. Murry squatted at Mrs Whatsit's feet, yanking on one slick boot. When the boot came off, it came suddenly. Mrs. Murry sat down with a thump. Mrs Whatsit went tumbling backward with the chair onto the floor, sandwich held high in one old claw. Water poured out of the boot and ran over the floor and the big braided rug."Oh, dearie me," Mrs Whatsit said, lying on her back in theoverturned chair, her feet in the air, one in a red-and-white striped sock, the other still booted.Mrs. Murry got to her feet. "Are you all right, Mrs Whatsit?""If you have some liniment I'll put it on my dignity," Mrs Whatsit said, still supine. "I think it's sprained. A little oil of cloves mixed well with garlic is rather good." And she took a large bite of sandwich."Do please get up," Charles said. "I don't like to see you lying there that way. You're carrying things too far.""Have you ever tried to get to your feet with a sprained dignity?" But Mrs Whatsit scrambled up, righted the chair, and then sat back down on the floor, the booted foot stuck out in front of her, and took another bite. She moved with great agility for such an old woman. At least Meg was reasonably sure that she was an old woman, and a very old woman at that.Mrs Whatsit, her mouth full, ordered Mrs. Murry, "Now pull while I'm already down."Quite calmly, as though this old woman and her boots were nothing out of the ordinary, Mrs. Murry pulled until the second boot relinquished the foot. This foot was covered with a blue-and-gray Argyle sock, and Mrs Whatsit sat there, wriggling her toes, contentedly finishing her sandwich before scrambling to her feet. "Ah," she said, "that's ever so much better," and took both boots and shook them out over the sink. "My stomach is full and I'm warm inside and out and it's time I went home.""Don't you think you'd better stay till morning?" Mrs. Murry asked."Oh, thank you, dearie, but there's so much to do I just can't waste time sitting around frivoling.""It's much too wild a night to travel in.""Wild nights are my glory," Mrs Whatsit said. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course.""Well, at least till your socks are dry--""Wet socks don't bother me. I just didn't like the water squishing around in my boots. Now, don't worry about me, lamb." ("Lamb" was not a word one would ordinarily think of calling Mrs. Murry.) "I shall just sit down for a moment and pop on my boots and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, pet, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."Mrs. Murry went very white and with one hand reached backward and clutched at a chair for support. Her voice trembled. "What did you say?"Mrs Whatsit tugged at her second boot. "I said," she grunted, shoving her foot down in, "that there is"--shove--"such a thing"--shove--"as a tesseract." Her foot went down into the boot, and grabbing shawls, scarves, and hat, she hustled out the door. Mrs. Murry stayed very still, making no move to help the old woman. As the door opened, Fortinbras streaked in, panting, wet and shiny as a seal. He looked at Mrs. Murry and whined.The door slammed."Mother, what's the matter!" Meg cried. "What did she say? What is it?""The tesseract--" Mrs. Murry whispered. "What did she mean? How could she have known?"A WRINKLE IN TIME. Text copyright © 1962 by Crosswicks, Ltd. Introduction copyright © 2012 by Katherine Paterson. Afterword copyright © 2012 by Charlotte Jones.

Editorial Reviews

"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"An exhilarating experience." -Kirkus Reviews"This imaginative book will be read for a long time into the future." -Children's Literature