Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine D'Engle

Sometimes, I can't remember if I actually read a book as a child, or if my older sister, Mikka, did, and just told me the entire plot so comprehensively that I think that I did. Like Lloyd Alexander's Westmark Trilogy, (an awesome series about a revolution that goes from the books up) the Newbery Winner, A Wrinkle in Time, was a book I knew the story of, but had never actually read. I realized this when I reread it last month, and came across passages I knew I had never heard before-- passages of startling imaginative resonance, and surprising (but realistic) romance. I can see, easily, why this book won the Newbery.

L'Engle said, in her Newbery acceptance speech, that the best books are the ones that provide just a little bit of light against the overwhelming darkness of our world. And A Wrinkle in Time is a book that does just that. According to Lewis Buzbee (author of the fabulous Steinbeck's Ghost, which, incidentally, begins with a reference to Comazotz, the scary-zombie-like planet) more people site A Wrinkle in Time as their favorite childhood book, than any other title. While I can't agree (because I never read it as a child) I can see how this would be true. The possibilities for a child's impact on the world, as imagined in this story, are vast, yet still dependent on innate traits any child might have. Walking the line between fantasy and science-fiction, with the emotional rawness of realism, A Wrinkle in Time was a pleasure to finally read.

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