A Wrinkle in Time

Book review by
Katherine Olney, Common Sense Media
A Wrinkle in Time Book Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Classic sci-fi story still inspires and gets kids thinking.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 33 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 111 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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 & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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 wonderful book for kids who've ever felt "different" or lonely or who have wrestled with loss. It celebrates the power of individuality, bravery, and love. It's been adapted for the screen twice, once as a 2004 TV movie and once in 2018 as a big-budget Disney blockbuster. There's a good audiobook version read by Hope Davis. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydocofsoc1 August 23, 2013

Was it too soon for tesseracts?

I adored the book A Wrinkle in Time as a child, but when my almost six-year old pulled the book off the shelf and asked me to read it to her, I hesitated. Was i... Continue reading
Adult Written byNokhuOtter June 13, 2020

A Wrinkle in Time is boring, frustrating, just bad. Terrible character development; lame dialog; slooooow plot development, dull.

Maybe this is a better book for kids to approach on their own, I don't know. First this happens, and then that. None of it is explained. The characters... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bythefoulestfowl February 19, 2021

I have a lot to say about this book.

I will be terse.

This book was really bad. There was no character development and honestly, no reason why the characters should have started on their adventur... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old March 30, 2015

A Wrinkle in Time review

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a fantasy novel about three kids who go on an adventure and fight darkness. I liked this book because it always kept y... Continue reading

What's the story?

In A WRINKLE IN TIME, 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 shortcut 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 this book 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 A Wrinkle in Time 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 Meg is also the one who wages the battle between good and evil.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about individuality, conformity, and personal growth. What does A Wrinkle in Time suggest about these ideas?

  • 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? What character strengths does she demonstrate?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi adventure

Themes & Topics

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