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A Wrinkle in Time

Last updated Thursday, October 2, 2014

Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Date of Publication: 1962
ISBN: 0374386137
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2014

Synopsis: It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. "Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract." A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

Note to readers:
•  You may choose to skip the first chapter & read the inside cover for an intro.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is a "wrinkle in time"?

•  Indignantly Pg 16 - feeling or showing anger because of something that is unfair or wrong
•  Happy medium Pg 22
•  Flounced Pg 22 - to move with exaggerated motions
•  Belligerent Pg 25 - eager to or showing eagerness to fight
•  Dilapidated Pg 32 - partly ruined or decayed especially from age or lack of care
•  Peremptory Pg 34 - expressing command
•  Assimilate Pg 35 - to take something in and make it part of the thing it has joined
•  Gamboled Pg 36 - to run or jump in a lively way
•  Judiciously Pg 38 - having, exercising, or characterized by sound judgment : DISCREET
•  Mega parsec Pg 41 - one million parsecs (Parsec-a unit of measure for interstellar space that is equal to 3.26 light-years)
•  Dubiously Pg 44 - feeling doubt : UNDECIDED
•  Plaintively Pg 51 - expressing suffering or sadness
•  Corporeal Pg 54 - having or consisting of a physical body or form
•  Ephemeral Pg 58 - lasting a very short time

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What was Meg afraid/worried about?
•  What did Mrs. Whatsit say to Mrs. Murry that shocked her?
•  Where do Meg and Charles go after school?
•  Does Charles really read Meg’s mind?
•  Who do Meg, Charles, and Calvin, meet in the haunted house and who does she talk about? Why do they meet there?
•  Who do Meg and Calvin discuss? Where is he?
•  Where did Meg, Calvin, Charles, Mrs. Whatsit, and her friends go?
•  What happens to Mrs. Whatsit?
•  What does Mrs. Whatsit take the kids to see?
•  What is a tesseract? (a wrinkle in time)

Craft ideas:
•  Make your own family tree, like in the beginning of the book.
•  Draw a three-dimensional square (cube), as explained on p 74.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!