Parents' Guide to

A Swiftly Tilting Planet

By Cindy Kane, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

A teenager saves the world from destruction.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

Themes are more mature than first 2 books in series

My 10 year old daughter and myself read the classic, A Wrinkle In Time and also read A Wind In The Door and greatly enjoyed both. The 3rd book, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, however is much more complex in its storyline. In addition, there is a very mature part where a stepfather is physically abusing his wife. It also details the stepfather making sexual advances toward his stepdaughter. These are topics I do not feel should be discussed with a 9 or 10 year old. I rated this book at 11+ as a result.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
2 people found this helpful.
age 9+

Entertaining and thought provoking but a little intense for some kids

This book is a lot more intense than the previous two in the series (A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door). There are a few scenes of violence (a woman in Puritan times is accused of witchcraft and led to the gallows but saved from hanging at the last minute). In one sub-story, a father dies, and it is heavily implied though never made explicit that the mother's new husband is molesting the pre-teen daughter. Over the entire story hangs the threat of nuclear war and the end of the world. The themes are definitely geared towards older kids, but the writing is beautiful and the storytelling compelling.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (4):

The saga is well crafted with some scenes that are truly exciting, such as the rescue of a woman in Puritan times from being hanged for witchcraft. The plot does demand close attention, though. For instance, every generation Charles Wallace visits has a blue-eyed descendant of the Native American woman Zyll, and one 12-year-old reader couldn't keep all the variations on her name (Zylle, Zillah, Zillie) straight.

L'Engle offers plenty of clues about the interlocking generations, which are fun to piece together. In fact, some characters arrive very late at conclusions the reader will have reached early on. ("Duh!" said the 12-year-old at one point, heaping scorn on Mrs. Murry's two Ph.D.s.) Criticism aside, patient readers will be rewarded with a well-sustained story line and a spine-tingling ending.

Book Details

  • Author: Madeleine L'Engle
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Yearling Books
  • Publication date: January 1, 1978
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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