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.
Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, L'Engle's work of fantasy and science fiction combined with some Christian theology has now been read by several generations of young enthusiasts. The author went on to write three others, forming a quartet based on the Murry family, and including themes like the power of love and the need to make responsible moral choices. In this story, Meg Murry, her extraordinary little brother Charles Wallace, and schoolmate Calvin O'Keefe make the acquaintance of eccentric Mrs. Whatsit and friends (who turn out to be extraterrestrial beings). Together they journey through a wrinkle in time, a tesseract, to rescue the Murrys' missing father from an evil presence (likened by some interpreters to a black hole), and a sinister brain called IT. Although this is fantasy, the characters are portrayed realistically and sympathetically; it is Meg's ability to love that enables them to return safely to Earth and make secure the right to individuality. L'Engle herself claims that she does not know how she came to write the story; "I had no choice," she says, "It was only after it was written that I realized what some of it meant." A plus with this new edition is an essay by Lisa Sonne that explores scientific concepts related to the storymultiple dimensions, dark energy, and string theory. Each of these concepts were conceived since the book's 1962 publication but are amazingly applicable to A Wrinkle in Time, and help to ensure that this imaginative book will be read for a long time into the future. 2005 (orig. 1962), Laurel Leaf/Random House, Ages 9 up.