A Wrinkle in Time

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Author: Madeleine L’Engle

Title: A Wrinkle in Time

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fantasy

Publication Date: 1962

Plot Summary:

High schooler Meg Murray does not belong. She does not get along with her teachers, she does not have friends, and everyone is talking about her father. They are saying that he ran away with another women and that is why he stopped writing letters to the family. Meg does not think that is true, but she does not know what is true. Until she, her brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin see something at the abandoned haunted house in their town and go to explore. There, they meet Mrs. Whatsit, who indeed no one knows what she is. They are told that Mr. Murray is still alive but he is in grave danger and they need to rescue him. Then, they vanish into thin air. It turns out that there are five dimensions. In addition to lines, flat shapes, 3D shapes, and time, there is also the tesserect. Apparently you can fold over time like a blanket and skip whole portions of time to travel faster and within time. This is called the wrinkle in time. It is a rather new concept for Earthlings and the friends are not only confused, they also don’t know how to use it. Once Mrs. Whatsit shows them the dark cloud of evil descending on Earth to take over everyone’s brains and make them all the same with no thoughts of their own, they are dumped on the planet Camazotz where they are told their father is in need of rescue. Why is everyone so normal, but not normal on Camaszotz? Where do they go? And where is their father? Most importantly, once they find him, what do they do?

Subject Headings:

Time travel; Brothers and sisters; Space and time; Good and Evil; Absent; Parents; Dark Energy (Astronomy); String theory; Science fiction; Fantasy fiction

Appeals: measured, engrossing, dark, dangerous, creepy, foreboding, rich, eccentric, well-developed, mystical, sophisticated, detailed-setting

3 words to describe book: Eery, introspective, a puzzle

Read a likes:


1) The Stepford Wives – Ira Levin

This is also a story about evil making everyone the same, and someone fighting against the system.

2) The Veil of Years – Douglas Warren

This is similar because it is about time travel. But in this, it’s more fantasy because the characters have powers to fight evil with. The history in text books start to disappear and change, and the main character has to restore truth by fixing it.

3) The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

This book also deals with time traveling as a disorder called Chrono-Displacement Disorder that effects a romantic relationship. So, if you like romance this might be a good lead in to fantasy and science fiction.


1) The New Time Travelers: a Journey to the Frontiers of Physics – David Toomey

Physicists at Caltech try to tackle the age-old question of whether humans can travel backwards in time… touching on famous scientific contributors and current research.

2) Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe: the Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time – Robert Gott

Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel did research on time travel before their studies were shunned as fantasy. Read this book to find out what they discovered.

3) Time Traveler: a Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality – Ronald Mallett

This is a scientist’s claim to discovering how to build the first working time machine and the science and math behind it.


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