A Wrinkle In Time

I found my favorite book 25 years ago.

Twenty-five years ago this November, in fact.

I may be in my mid-30s, but my favorite book is supposedly for children.  A Newbery Award winner.  It features characters with names like Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which.  Characters like the alien Aunt Beast, and the Happy Medium (an actual medium), and an evil disembodied brain called It.


I have read most of Madeleine L'Engle's children's books, and I have a nice collection of her work.  I once checked a beautiful audio edition of A Wrinkle in Time out from the library, so that my husband and I could listen to it on the way to visit his folks in Joplin, MO.  

Madeleine L'Engle narrated that edition herself.  My husband loved it, too.

Her books have a place of honor in my bookcase.


I have the 2007 paperback editions of the Time quintet.



I have a battered, post-Newbery copy from the 1960s, with the original art by Ellen Raskin.



And I bought myself the 50th Anniversary hardcover edition this year.


None of these are the first copy I held in my hands, nearly 25 years ago.  

That copy was in the school library, the school I attended for one year only:  fifth grade.  There was a wonderful librarian named Mrs. Loper, and she took a special interest in me.  "Try this one," she said.  I did.

I just enrolled Big Sis in first grade.  Her school is now a performing arts magnet school, but once upon a time, it was simply a regular school, the one her mom attended in fifth grade.

Enrollment took place in the library.  A familiar spine on the shelf caught my eye.

"Look, kids.  This could be the very copy your mom checked out in fifth grade!"

(Sorry for the quality.   I don't have a smart phone, only a dumb phone with a bad camera.)  

Inside the front cover, an old-fashioned envelope and library card remained.  I took it out and turned it over.



My name.  My signature at ten years old.  November 25th, my mother's birthday.  

And February 9th, and February 16th, and April 9th...

Told you it was my favorite book.

Comments

  1. That is awesome! To my shame, somehow I have never read A Wrinkle in Time, even as an English major and a teacher! Bad, I know. I look forward to reading it with my daughters when they are older!

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    1. Oh, you must, you must! It's such a brilliant book. :o)

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  2. WONDERFUL! This is the best post ever! The discovery of the book... your fifth grade signature. The fact that you daughter is starting where you once were. Your beautiful collection. The love of books being passed on... I just LOVE it all. Wonderful. A Wrinkle in Time is a fabulous book. I haven't read anything else by L'Engle- tell me do her other books continue the story or are they separate?

    (I enjoyed yesterdays post too, just got pulled away by a power outage before I could comment. I'd completely forgotten about the frog prince Muppet style- I loved that as a kid and somehow had forgotten it completely, good memories. The Muppets are the best!)

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    1. Thanks, Robyn! It made my day. I couldn't believe the same card would still be in the book, after all these year!

      The 5 books in the Time quintet can stand alone. She referred to them as companion books, not really sequels. (The Austin family books do need to be read in order.) The fifth Time book, An Acceptable Time, doesn't seem to mesh (it crosses over with characters from the Austin books, too). I love Many Waters. I didn't read it until a few years ago. It's about the twins, Sandy and Dennys, going back in time to when Noah built the ark. It's amazing.

      The girls argue over which Muppet fairy tale they like best. One insists on watching Hey, Cinderella! The other prefers The Frog Prince. But then, they bicker over everything these days. Maybe I'm ready for school to start after all...

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    2. Year, years... I need to proofread myself better.

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  3. That is AMAZING. so you live in the same town as an adult that you did as a child?? Also amazing!!

    I've read nearly every L'Engle book -- my big favs were the Meet the Austins series -- and I really loved 'Arm of the Starfish' -- I had a huge book crush on Adam!! I like to think he and Vicki got married. :)

    I also have really enjoyed her adult fiction and YA fiction, like 'Camilla' and 'And Both Were Young'. I've read 'And Both Were Young' a million times, I wanted to go to a Swiss boarding school after I read that one.

    You and I are going to have meet up in person some day and swoon over books. We just MUST. :)

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    1. It's a mid-sized city. My dad, grandma, and sister are here, I went to college here.

      I read the Austin books as an adult. I LOVED them. And yes, I love Vicki and Adam, too! I have Camilla and And Both Were Young, but I admit, they are among the few I haven't read yet.

      And yes, we must!

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