SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS (And Others)

Just as Saturday mornings on TV in the 50s and 60s was dedicated to kids, Saturday mornings on this blog are dedicated to them.
Book 1 of the Wallace Family Series finds Meg a gawky twelve year old and Charles Wallace a 6 year old prodigy.
Book two finds Charles Wallace about Meg’s age in the previous book.
Book three finds Meg married (to Calvin) and expecting their first child and Charles Wallace a teenager.

For years, I thought this was it, The Wallace Family trilogy. I read A Wrinkle in Time to my sixth graders every year during the 80s as I discovered it with them. Later, I read A Wind in the Door and reread it recently. I do not think I ever read A Swiftly Tilting Planet until now, as I began my Madeline L’Engle “project”–to read as much by and about her as I could. The first thing I assigned myself was to read this trilogy, only to discover that the characters in these three books were in two other books as well.

Time travel appeared in the first book (My students and I were all enthralled by the theory of the tesseract.), and the book became a classic. It made L’Engle the well-known writer and household name she is today. L’Engle’s granddaughters ended their biography of her with the publication of Wrinkle, establishing her as a writer and as they point out, L’Engle published her own autobiography, A Circle of Quiet, soon after.

Book two, Wind, deals with gene therapy and DNA particles, which was years ahead of its time.

Book three, Tilting Planet, also deals with time travel, but more of a regression into past lives, a “going within” and the concept of changing things for the better. All of this reflected L’Engle’s interest in and experimentation with past lives.

I have read these three and am as enchanted with the rereading as I was with them upon first reading. I highly recommend this series to readers of all ages.

MANY WATERS by Madeline L’Engle: A Review

Published in 1986       Takes place sometime after the Wrinkle in Time Trilogy

Sandy and Dennys Murry, twin brothers of Meg and Calvin Wallace Murry (from A Wrinkle in Time) are the “dull,” “ordinary” ones in the family until they interrupt their physicist dad’s computer experiment.  Then, they are in trouble, not just with their dad, but in cosmos-changing trouble.  Many waters were coming soon to the dessert oasis where they “landed”, and stories their mother told them as small children from the Bible, as well as many mythologies and folktales of a world-wide flood come rushing to their minds.

Unknown to them, their dad was experimenting with time travel, and the Genesis (from the Bible) people’s reaction to them, as well as their reaction to the people of “this other place” is the premise for the story.  Unicorns, mammoths (miniature size ones), seraphims, and nephils all appear in this book. Both boys, young teens, fall for the same girl, Yalith, and for the first time, the twins do not tell each other “everything.” Will they get themselves home in time to avoid the “many waters?”/The Great Flood? Will they get home, period? L’Engle’s philosophy shines through as the boys engage in conflicts both on a personal level and on a universal level.

The writing, plot, and characterization are brilliant. This is one of my favorite authors whether she is writing YA novels, memoirs and philosophy, or anything. I highly recommend this book.