As our “Best YA Novel of All Time” bracket continues, we’re unveiling our picks, which didn’t advance as far as we would like. Here’s the case for Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.
First of all, I’ve got to level with you — I never really thought of A Wrinkle in Time as being a YA book. That’s mainly because I read Madeleine L’Engle’s masterpiece for the first time when I was in fourth grade, a few years before becoming a young adult myself.
More specifically: It was recess. I was on the playground. All around me, fellow elementary schoolers were shrieking and running and learning the basics of social interaction, but I didn’t care — because it was a dark and stormy night at the Murry family’s 200-year-old Connecticut farmhouse, which was pretty much the coolest thing I could possibly imagine.
Given that last sentence, you can probably gather why I was immediately captivated by Wrinkle‘s charming misfit of a heroine: awkward, irritable, smart-but-underachieving Meg Murry. Like me, Meg wore glasses; like me, she felt like she never quite fit anywhere, neither among the dreadfully normal kids at school nor among her uncommonly gifted family. (As her child genius younger brother Charles Wallace puts it, Meg is “not one thing or the other, not flesh or fowl nor good red herring.” I had absolutely no idea what that meant, but I loved the way it sounded anyway.)
What I didn’t understand back then is that at some point, everyone feels like an outsider. Ironically enough, alienation is one of the most universal emotions there is — especially for adolescent girls. READ FULL STORY