Re-Read: A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle in Time

by: Madeleine L'Engle

Publication Date: 1962
Finished on: March 1, 2018
Publisher: Square Fish

A Wrinkle in Time is the middle-grade book 1 in a quintet about Meg Murray and her friends who are tasked with saving the world.  Below is the Goodreads synopsis for the edition I read:

"Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government."

My review:
A Wrinkle in Time was a childhood favorite of mine.  I still remember my mother reading this book to me each night before bed when I was too young to be able to read chapter books myself.  So, I have strong feelings of nostalgia associated with this read.  Fast forward to my 30's and I was excited to learn that A Wrinkle in Time was being adapted into a feature-length movie.  Since I am starting my own family, I definitely wanted to re-visit this childhood love of mine as an adult.

"Maybe I don't like being different," Meg said, "but I don't want to be like everybody else either."

Overall, I liked how L'Engle approached the topic of children being "different" than other kids.  I was surprised to read how mean children and adults were to Megan and Charles Wallace.  I didn't remember this aspect of the book from my childhood.  I think this theme (being different but that maybe being a good thing) is a great concept to explore with younger readers.  

"Maybe if you aren't unhappy sometimes you don't know how to be happy."

One aspect of the book that I wasn't as comfortable with was the introduction of religion and God/Jesus.  I was raised Catholic, but currently do not practice or believe any organized religion.  I am trying to figure out how to introduce these topics to my future child.  I would love for middle grade texts to include some religious references, but don't want the texts to be overall religious. What bothered me about the religion in this novel is that it seemed forced.  References to Jesus and God didn't seem to fit with the other arching story.  Maybe if you are religious at baseline, then these concepts may have felt a bit more natural to you.

"Like and equal are two entirely different things."

Now on to the story!  I do not read a lot of middle grade books.  At all!  But I was surprised at how LITTLE happened in this novel!  As a child, I found it entrancing and magical.  As an adult, I kept waiting for SOMETHING to happen!  And the ending felt abruptly wrapped up.  I'm not sure I know how to fairly review a middle grade book as an adult reader, but this plotline just didn't spark anything special for me.  

All of that being said, I plan to share a copy of this book with my nephew (age 7 years and just finished reading the first Harry Potter).  I think it is a fairly easy read with some fun scientfic/space themes that little boys and girls will likely enjoy.  And I believe that the themes of being different and equality to be important to read about and discuss.  Will I read it with my child(ren)?  Depending on his interests, I foresee diving into this series.  For myself, I'm going to put off reading the rest of the series at this time since A Wrinkle In Time wasn't the most enjoyable for me.  I *will* be trying to see the movie adaptation though, and that may change my mind!

Overall, I rate this 3/5 ADULT READER stars.  A Wrinkle in Time was a childhood favorite of mine that I revisited as an adult reader.  While I believe that the novel has many merits for children, I personally wasn't pulled into the book as much as I had hoped I would be.

What do you think?  Should I give book 2 a chance?


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