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A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet) Paperback – Unabridged, May 1, 2007
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Complex concepts of space and time are handled well for young readers, and the author creates a suspenseful, life-and-death drama that is believably of cosmic significance. Complex and rich in mystical religious insights, this is breathtaking entertainment.” ―Starred, School Library Journal
Top customer reviews
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.
Amazing science fiction, with enough real science to keep the adult thinking.
In this sequel to "A Wrinkle in Time", Meg journeys inside Charles Wallace to insure his health and life. CW does not get to help this time, instead, the story takes place inside his body.
I really like the way the author is able to mix enough real science into these books to keep the adult mind thinking. While the stories are entertaining enough for children, they are complicated enough for the adult. By including enough actual science, the author gives the reader room to think about the story and the plausibility.
Madeleine L'Engle does a great job introducing the concepts of mitochondria to the reader, while letting the reader decide whether or not to follow up on them. The science in these books seems to sneak up on the reader, yet is fully visible. This book remains a fun book to read, as an adult.
I think both children and adults will enjoy reading this story. I will be reading the next book in the great series.
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".