A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: NY, 1962.
Newbery Medal 1963

Meg and Charles Wallace Murry and a new friend Calvin travel through time and space by means of tesseracts, guided by Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. The Murrys' father is a scientist who disappeared while exploring the concept of tessering. The Mrs. W's inform the children that he needs their help, and they travel to release him from his imprisonment.

Despite the sci fi/fantasy baseline, the book is mostly psychological. It is a good vs. evil adventure story, using love and freedom of thought to combat the shadow that would control the characters' minds. The characters are presented as misfits, and the story shows their differences as being their strengths, what saves them.

This is a book that I loved in 6th grade, though I didn't fully understand the tesseracts. Looking back I don't think it has much depth. It was written and remains for young children. It is groundbreaking for its use of scientific concepts in children's literature. It still is one of the few that attempts to deal with complicated scientific theories. Though there is starting to be sci fi literature for young adults, there is still little for younger kids. It still is a good book for introducing fiction to young readers.

related-tesseracts and tessering, hypnosis, equal vs. sameness, identity, nonconformity, familial love, missing parent, fitting in, sacrifice

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