A Wrinkle in Time

Common Sense Media says

Classic sci-fi story still inspires and gets kids thinking.




Newbery Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Educational value

This book contains lots of science, but more importantly, it's a great way to discuss topics of conformity and individuality.

Positive messages

There are many important themes in A Wrinkle in Time: the importance of friendship, loyalty and individuality chief among them. This book celebrates kids who are a bit different, it sends positive messages about thinking for yourself and about the bonds of siblings.

Positive role models

The book is chock full of great role models. Meg is a strong, persuasive and brave heroine. Her mother is a scientist. Her friend Calvin is a model of loyalty and her brother Charles Wallace an example of how cool you can be if you aren't typically "cool."


The book has suspense and a few scary moments. The children confront an evil, disembodied brain that controls a planet.


Mild flirtation and a kiss.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Wrinkle in Time is one of the great works of literature for kids. Besides being an exciting story, its messages of individuality, nonconformity, friendship and courage have inspired generations of readers. This is a great book for kids who have ever felt "different" or lonely or who have wrestled with loss. It celebrates the power of individuality and bravery and love.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Meg's father, an eminent physicist, has been missing for two years. One night a strange old woman, Mrs. Whatsit, appears, \"blown off course\" while she, along with Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, was tessering, or taking a shorcut through time and space.

They take Meg, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their new friend Calvin, to rescue Dr. Murry, who is a prisoner on a planet ruled by IT, a giant pulsating brain that controls the minds of everyone on the planet. Charles Wallace also falls under IT's control, and when Meg finds her father, she discovers that he is not the invincible protector she thought he was. She must not only come to terms with this realization, but find a way to rescue them both.

Is it any good?


For many children, reading A WRINKLE IN TIME is a turning point in their intellectual lives, opening to them worlds of science and literary complexity. Those who like action and adventure enjoy its science fiction story, filled with strange creatures and Meg's showdown with IT. Preteens of both sexes can relate to the coming-of-age theme, with a hint of romance, and commentary on the value of individuality over conformity. And kids who aren't terribly popular enjoy watching an outcast become a hero, and doing so by finding that her faults are also her strengths.

Grown scientists who read the book as a child recall it as being the first book that encouraged openness to imaginative speculation, the root of all scientific inquiry and creativity. Parents who want to expose their children to women and girls who are passionate about math and science would do well to slip their child a copy of this book. Not only do Meg and her mother fit this particular bill, but it is Meg who wages the battle between good and evil.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about individuality, conformity, and personal growth.

  • How is the Murry family different from most people in their community?

  • At the beginning of the book, do you find them strange, and does your opinion change over the course of the story?

  • How does Meg change over the course of her adventure?

Book details

Author:Madeleine L'Engle
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Misfits and underdogs, Science and nature, Space and aliens
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Yearling Books
Publication date:January 1, 1992
Number of pages:240
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12
Award:Newbery Medal and Honors

This review of A Wrinkle in Time was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old May 12, 2011

Very Good Book!

Love this book. We read it as a class novel and it was one of the best books I've ever read
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byKingLukeAtTHECastle December 27, 2011


This was the most incomprehensible(unable to be understood) book I have ever read. Basically, a girl and her abnormally intelligent brother, and some guy go to a different world to save their father. And what do they find, but a GIANT BRAIN IN A CAVE!? What the...? Now this book was just...WEIRD. CREEPY. FREAKY. STRANGE. And then, they find these Yo Gabba Gabba things...and the kid is controlled by the brain!? It's a brain people! And why is there even a giant brain there anyways? DON'T believe the people who said it was good. Your kids will be creeped out. They will afraid of brains! Take it from a father with 5 kids-I regret reading it to them. They hated it! I hope you enjoyed this review and if you do read this horrendous book, be warned. And ready.
Kid, 10 years old June 18, 2010

Great for kids 8+

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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