- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Yearling (March 15, 1974)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440487617
- ISBN-13: 978-0440487616
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 343 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,695,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Wind in the Door Paperback – March 15, 1974
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"There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden," announces six-year-old Charles Wallace Murry in the opening sentence of The Wind in the Door. His older sister, Meg, doubts it. She figures he's seen something strange, but dragons--a "dollop of dragons," a "drove of dragons," even a "drive of dragons"--seem highly unlikely. As it turns out, Charles Wallace is right about the dragons--though the sea of eyes (merry eyes, wise eyes, ferocious eyes, kitten eyes, dragon eyes, opening and closing) and wings (in constant motion) is actually a benevolent cherubim (of a singularly plural sort) named Proginoskes who has come to help save Charles Wallace from a serious illness.
In her usual masterful way, Madeleine L'Engle jumps seamlessly from a child's world of liverwurst and cream cheese sandwiches to deeply sinister, cosmic battles between good and evil. Children will revel in the delectably chilling details--including hideous scenes in which a school principal named Mr. Jenkins is impersonated by the Echthroi (the evil forces that tear skies, snuff out light, and darken planets). When it becomes clear that the Echthroi are putting Charles Wallace in danger, the only logical course of action is for Meg and her dear friend Calvin O'Keefe to become small enough to go inside Charles Wallace's body--into one of his mitochondria--to see what's going wrong with his farandolae. In an illuminating flash on the interconnectedness of all things and the relativity of size, we realize that the tiniest problem can have mammoth, even intergalactic ramifications. Can this intrepid group voyage through time and space and muster all their strength of character to save Charles Wallace? It's an exhilarating, enlightening, suspenseful journey that no child should miss.
The other books of the Time quartet, continuing the adventures of the Murry family, are A Wrinkle in Time; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which won the American Book Award; and Many Waters. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson
From the Publisher
Meg Murry can't help but be worried when her six-year-old brother, Charles Wallace, announces there are dragons in the vegetable garden. He's so bright, and so different from other kids, he's getting bullied at school, and he is also strangely, seriously ill.
But Charles Wallace is right about the dragons--actually a friendly entity who has come to help Charles Wallace fight his sickness, and to take Meg and her friend Calvin O'Keefe on a terrifying, wonderful journey into galactic space--where they must battle the force of evil to save Charles Wallace, and themselves.
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I will say that Madeleine L'Engle is a brilliant writer. She knows how to mix science, religion, and fantasy all together in one. Her imagination is still ages beyond this current world. We still have a lot of catching up to do.
But as for this book, it wasn't my favorite. It's not a terrible story at all. It's just different, and it wasn't what I liked for my own taste.
The Wrinkle in Time Quintet, the whole series is a special trip in to the intelligent imagination of possibilities in space and time that do much more than entertain (and entertain they do!). First, great stories, all five, one building on the other, second, great characters, that are connected in time and space by family and friendship, several generations and by the end of the last book of the five, one feels part of this family in some way, wishing to hear more and more about their lives and adventures.
An excerpt from my full review on the Speculative Chic blog.
More formulaic: Blajeny is a Teacher (capital T); Meg must learn lessons and must pass three trials.
The new creatures, both allies and enemies, aren't as interesting. I would enjoy learning more about Mrs. Whatsit or any of the Mrs. W's. I don't feel the same way about Blajeny. He's gone by the end of the book -- and so what?
The religious overtones became much more new-agey. That may not bother some people, but it bothered me.
On the plus side: L'Engle introduces the idea that size does not matter; that interesting things happen at all scales of the universe, from the sub-atomic to the super-galactic. I liked that idea.
Side note: for years after I read this book the first time, whenever I saw a "SCHOOL XING" sign, I would read it as "ECHTHROI XING".