Wednesday, January 18, 2012

50th Anniversary of "A Wrinkle in Time"

I checked my email this morning and found another Amazon email, this time telling me of the best Middle Grade books that were on the market that I could buy NOW! I browsed through their offerings and discovered the 50th Anniversary edition of the Newbery Award winning novel, "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle.

Really, could it be?

I remember the first time I saw it on a shelf of free reading books in my third grade teacher's room. I picked it up and I tried to read it. I don't remember exactly how far I got, but far enough to be confused and I ended up switching it for another a few days later. When I picked it up, years later as an adult, I had to tax my brain on several points as Ms. L'Engle introduced math and quantum physics and magic and an evil, soul-inhabiting IT that would have scared the bejeebies out of my eight-year-old self.

But it was interesting. And it was compelling. The story entwined the human story of wanting to be loved and accepted and never abandoning those we love with higher math and space/time theories I've barely rarely studied and am only able to take on faith. But what an incredible readable book for middle grade, teen or adults. I was surprised to find that there were even more books that followed Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin O'Keefe and their families. I got my hands on them and read their stories and was still amazed at all that Ms. L'Engle was able to do with her grand thoughts and basic emotions.

So Bravo! Long live books. Long live books that challenge our minds, challenge our hearts and make us search a little more for the truth within our imaginations.

And if you don't want to hear me go on anymore, here are a few quotes from other authors praising "A Wrinkle in Time." (I love Meg Cabot and Scott Westerfield!)

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

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