February Favorites: Madeleine L’Engle

“I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.”

18131Hey All! Its February favorites time and I’m taking the opportunity to recommend one of my favorite YA books of all time: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. L’Engle first published this book in 1962 as the first of a four-book series. It became a Newbury Medal book in 1963. While I encourage you to enjoy all four books in her series, Wrinkle is absolutely my favorite and can be read as a standalone book.

I must have been about 7 or 8 years old the first time I read A Wrinkle in Time, and I’ve re-read it more than any other book I’ve ever owned. While I would say that this book is very firmly planted in the YA genre, don’t let that frighten you away from reading it as an adult. Even as an adult reader, I still feel the magic each time I experience the story. This was the first book I remember reading that made me cry – really cry – and also the first book that I couldn’t put down until it was finished.

On the surface, A Wrinkle in Time is the story of high school girl Meg, who is transported through space and time on a quest to fight evil and save her kidnapped father who is being held hostage on another planet. While that sounds like a pretty straightforward story line, there isn’t any more that I can tell you about it without giving away spoilers.  You just have to trust me that there are plenty of twists and turns along the way that will keep you reading. What I can say is that L’Engle draws on a little bit of science, a little bit of parable storytelling, and a lot of magic to create the worlds that Meg, her little brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin O’Keefe visit. While the story begins as sounding a little complex (I had no idea what a tesseract was when I first read this at 8 years old) it will quickly transform into a story that is about believing in and loving yourself, accepting yourself even with all of your faults, and seeing the beauty that each person possesses, both inside and out. All of this is told from the perspective of teenager Meg, who is a beautifully flawed character. She is smart, stubborn, lovable and refuses to acknowledge her good traits. While she experiences a crazy adventure away from home, she also learns more about who she is – I’m not sure I’d go as far to call it a coming of age story, but it has elements of her experiencing her own self realization.

If you’re looking for a story that will transport you back to the magic of your adolescence, I suggest reading A Wrinkle in Time. L’Engle’s books are a great option for people that enjoy C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling.

Melissa Webb calls Denver home. She is a knitter, cat-mom and occasional marathoner. She drinks way too much coffee, but she can quit any time she wants. You can say hi to her on Twitter or check out her latest crafty ideas on her website.

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