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'A Wrinkle in Time' 50 years later

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Madeleine L'Engle classic "A Wrinkle in Time."

By / January 30, 2012

The 50th anniversary edition of 'A Wrinkle in Time' will include extras like author Madeleine L'Engle's acceptance speech when she won the Newbery Medal, an introduction by author Katherine Paterson, and an afterword by L'Engle's granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis.

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Thanks to author Madeleine L’Engle, many readers know exactly what “tesseract” means.

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At least they think they know. In real life, "tesseract" is actually a geometry concept. But in pop culture, the word is inextricably linked to time travel and L’Engle’s classic novel “A Wrinkle in Time,” which celebrates its 50h anniversary this year. A special edition of the book will be released tomorrow, with extras that include the text of L’Engle’s Newbery Medal acceptance speech, an introduction by “Bridge to Teribithia” author Katherine Paterson, and an afterword by L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis.

In the novel, main character Meg Murry’s father left on a government mission months ago but has gone missing. Then, one night during a thunderstorm, Meg and her family are visited by a mysterious woman who introduces herself as Mrs Whatsit. Mrs Whatsit and her companions convince Meg, Meg’s brother Charles Wallace, and Meg’s friend Calvin that they must embark on a journey to find Meg and Charles Wallace’s father and save him from a terrible evil.

In addition to winning the Newbery Medal, “A Wrinkle in Time” was a runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and won the Sequoyah Book Award and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. The book was the first in a series by L’Engle about the Murry family which consisted of four other books. The first, “A Wind in the Door,” follows Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin as they meet a cherubim and fight off new villains, creatures called Echthroi. The next book in the series, “A Swiftly Tilting Planet,” jumps ahead several years to a time when Charles Wallace must save the world from a dangerous dictator. In “Many Waters,” Meg and Charles Wallace’s brothers Sandy and Dennys are transported back to Biblical times, and the last book in the series, “An Acceptable Time,” details the adventures of one of the members of the next generation of the family, a girl named Polly.

Despite time travel and other science fiction plot devices, L’Engle biographer Leonard Marcus says the book’s major theme is Meg’s love for her family, the most powerful weapon she possesses in the fight against the evil IT.

“At its core it’s about a girl’s love for her father,” Marcus said in an interview with The New York Times. “And that emotional level transcends the genre aspect of the book.”

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