Fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace Murry, whom readers first met in A Wrinkle in Time
, has a little task he must accomplish. In 24 hours, a mad dictator will destroy the universe by declaring nuclear war--unless Charles Wallace can go back in time to change one of the many Might-Have-Beens in history. In an intricately layered and suspenseful journey through time, this extraordinary young man psychically enters four different people from other eras. As he perceives through their eyes "what might have been," he begins to comprehend the cosmic significance and consequences of every living creature's actions. As he witnesses first-hand the transformation of civilization from peaceful to warring times, his very existence is threatened, but the alternative is far worse.
The Murry family, also appearing in A Wind in the Door and Many Waters, acts as a carrier of Madeleine L'Engle's unique message about human responsibility for the world. Themes of good versus evil, time and space travel, and the invincibility of the human spirit predominate. Even while she entertains, L'Engle kindles the intellect, inspiring young people to ask questions of the world, and learn by challenging. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9. This recording completes Madeleine L'Engle's reading of the time travel trilogy that includes A Wrinkle in Time (FS&G, 1962) and A Wind in the Door (FS&G, 1973). Fans of the earlier works will avidly follow the further adventures of the O'Keefe family as they embark on a 24-hour quest to stop the destruction of the world by dictator "Mad Dog Branzillo." with the help of an ancient rune, the assistance of a wise and fearless unicorn, and the use of "kything" ( a type of especially acute telepathic communication), 15-year-old Charles Wallace attempts to trace the connections over time and generations that have led to Branzillo's rise to power. L'Engle uses essentially the same voice throughout the reading, which sometimes makes it difficult to know who is speaking. In addition, a slight lisp and a tendency to overemphasize sibilant sounds detract from the quality of the listening experience. This is an example of a recording where the material is wonderful but would have been more effectively presented by a professional narrator rather an by the author. Nevertheless, most public libraries will want to purchase this due to L'Engle's continued popularity among upper elementary and junior high school students.?Cindy Lombardo, Ashland Public Library, OH
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