Any fantasy book that can get a hopelessly science-hating junior higher (as
I was) to both understand and be interested in tesseracts should get an award.
And yes, A Wrinkle in Time did that for me as a child. Of course, it
didn’t get me so interested in science that I took more than the one required
science class in college, or ended up in a major outside of English. But I think
this book (and the others in the series) helped me to see how the concepts from
science could help create a powerful story. It showed me how relative size is
and to see our world in a different light.
More than that, of course, this is just a good story, and just as good a one
today as it was forty years ago when it first won the Newbery Medal (of course
it didn’t win
just for me—I’ll confess I wasn’t around quite
yet at the time).
Anyway, to the story: A Wrinkle in Time is about Meg Murry, a shy teenager
who’s the daughter of two brilliant scientists, and what happened to her
and her family on—you guessed it—a dark and stormy night (a couple,
actually). A stranger (Mrs. Whatsit) comes unexpectedly to her house talking
about tesseracts (a concept in science not unlike “beaming up” in
Star Trek, though it's explained more accurately in the book as being a wrinkle
in time). From that unlikely beginning Meg, her brother, and a friend get whirled
away into an adventure involving strange places and difficult challenges.
This children’s science fiction series (commonly called the Time
Trilogy though there are arguably four) is a good, easy, multi-leveled read
that’s definitely worth reading no matter how old you are. It ranks up
there with The
Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia in
Interested in Madeleine L'Engle? Check out Deborah's review of her book