Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle


Genre: Middle grade, fantasy/sci-fi, Newbery Medal
Published: 1962
Audiobook
My review: 2/5 stars

My husband had been telling me for years that this was a book he had read growing up that he loved. I picked it as one to read for the Shelf Discovery Challenge because it seemed like I was one of the few who hadn't read it yet. Well, I can now say that I've read it and I can check another Newbery Medal winner off my list but I can't say that I liked it. It just seemed a little silly to me. Meg, the main character, was a little too whiny but maybe that was just the way it sounded since I listened to the audiobook. However, Madeleine L'Engle, herself, was the reader so it seems like she would portray her the way she intended.

Since I have the book Shelf Discovery, I decided to see what Lizzie Skurnick had to say about it. She seems to really like it. She identifies with Meg and likes her "bullheadedness". She says that she's read it 18 times. Hmmm. Probably an exaggeration but I don't think you'll catch me reading it twice. I think it probably depends on what age you are when you read this for the first time. What are your thoughts?
Rating: 1.1.1 Nothing offensive to me.

18 comments:

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

I dont' remember enough about it to give it a grade -- I remember my 3rd grade teacher reading it to us, but not understanding it. Then read it about 10 yrs ago -- and thinking, "what's all the fuss?"
But I often have those reactions to books that you are "supposed to read."

Tricia said...

My daughter loved this last year when she read it (she was 8). I read it too and thought it was good, but not as good as she thought. I put it down to me not being the intended audience.

Julie P. said...

I remember not liking this one as a kid, but I will be reading it in a few weeks for our mother-daughter book club!

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I read this a few years ago and I honestly don't remember much about it. I know I didn't love it. In fact, I can't really remember the plot!

Charlotte said...

I really liked it when I was a kid. I'll have to try it again to see if my adult self likes it.

CarrieM said...

I don't think 18 times is an exaggeration. I've read it probably every couple of years since I was in 2nd grade. I think this book has to grab you at the right age, and when it does, it's powerful!

Julie said...

I read this as a kid and loved it. When I was all grown up (!?!) I realized there were sequels and was frustrated for my child-self because she would have been through the roof to read them. So I re-read the first one. It was okay, but really strange. Then I read the sequel - and it was not okay. I've stopped reading the series. Maybe I just don't get it anymore. :(

Anonymous said...

I did not like it very much at all. I agree with your review.

Suey said...

I also loved it when I read it as a kid. I haven't done a re-read, and wonder if I would still love it or not.

Laura H said...

I read it as a kid and didnt like it at all. Was going to re-read it last year but my sister read it and said "Dont bother"

Shelley said...

Oh, I have to really stand up for this book. I think it's one of the top maybe five books of childhood: it affirms, in a not simple-minded way, that parents are vulnerable, that it's okay to be different and confused, that anger can be thought about, and that people can care very much about each other even when the external world is terrifying. It has stuff kids need to know, and the book respects their intelligence.

Shelley said...

I'll have to be another Shelley who loved this book. It seems like I was most moved by the themes of the book, and I'm generally accepting of weird stuff in books, so maybe that's a factor. It's been maybe ten years since I've read it, but I seem to remember a strong message about freedom of choice that I found powerful?
Having said that, I did NOT like the second one. Weird! It came across as a bit silly. Just like Julie, I stopped there even though I have a boxed set of four.

eceldridge said...

I first read this right before high school, and I remember liking it, although not as much as others had hyped it up to be. It is imaginative, but I'd agree that Meg complained too much.

Not quite the Bradys said...

Kim, did you read this with Christian allegory in mind? Because it is one and I LOVE the illustration of life without agency under SomeoneElse's rule. I'm just saying. Also, I think the language doesn't draw you in as an adult because it is intended for intermediate age readers.

Kim said...

I did recognize the Christian allegory and I did appreciate the themes, I just didn't like the execution of it. Maybe it was the language, maybe it was the reader(since this was an audiobook), maybe the beings were too weird (Mrs. What's It, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which?--I didn't get these three--and Aunt Beast? Just weird). I like a little fantasy but not high fantasy. I think that's why I didn't like it very much. I can definitely appreciate why so many of you liked it, though.

Not quite the Bradys said...

oh yes. i didn't like them either. :)

Laura Fabiani said...

I agree with you, Kim. I began reading this with my daughter and although we had to reread some parts that were not clear for us (high fantasy, as you said), we only decided to put the book down when the woman with the crystal ball shows up. The Bible clearly condemns fortunetelling and this was bordering too much on this theme for our comfort. I have to say, my daughter was not too disappointed when we did not continue reading it.

Anonymous said...

Wait, the first was weird but the rest of the series was interesting. If you keep going the series will get you thinking!