Time Travel and Tesseracts

A Wrinkle in Time

The book discussion group I run at the library recently read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. This wonderful book that traverses both fantasy and science fiction has been around for over forty years! It won the Newbery Medal in 1963 and is considered a classic in the world of children’s literature. According to the Literature Resource Center, “twenty-six publishers rejected it (A Wrinkle in Time) before editors who had liked one of her earlier stories decided to publish it. The editors said they were publishing the book because they loved it. As it turned out, the public loved it too.”

I have now read this book three times and I have discovered that I enjoy this book more with each additional read. I have been pondering why this is the case. I am still thinking about it, but I have come up with a few reasons so far. The story offers an adventurous read replete with fantasy and science fiction elements. But it also tells the story of the Murry family and the struggles they deal with as humans. The story centers around Meg Murry, an awkward 13-year-old math genius trying desperately to figure out who she is. Her brother, five-year-old Charles Wallace, is also a central character. He is an eccentric child, gifted with an amazing intellect and what seems to be extrasensory perception. This story is about their journey through time and space to find their father, an astrophysicist, who has been missing for over a year. The story pulls me into a fantasy world while allowing me to learn about and explore what it is to be human. The story explores such themes as good vs. evil, love, and family.

So are you wondering what tesseracts have to do with what I am writing about? Tesseracts are a very important part of this story and it is a concept that Meg’s mother and father had explored in their scientific studies. A tesseract allows one to go beyond the fourth dimension to the fifth dimension, thus making time travel very efficient. Sound interesting? Be sure to check out a copy at the library! A Wrinkle in Time is the first of five books in the “Time Fantasy” series. The other titles that follow are: A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.

3 comments on “Time Travel and Tesseracts

  1. This is definitely one of my faves. I love that while the story mainly traverses a fantastic path, there is poetry, philosophy and science around a few of the corners. This books really respects its readers.

  2. I’ve always loved time travel stories – there were so many ones around when I was growing up, but they seem quite rare nowadays. I’ve actually just written a time travel story, and tried to re-read all my favourites as part of my research but I didn’t even think about ‘A Wrinkle In Time’. Stupid of me! I do remember it from my childhood and would have loved to have read it again. I’ll have to dig it out.

    By the way, my book is called ‘The Puzzle Ring’ – it doesn’t have tesseracts but it does have quite a bit of time travel lore …

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