What’s it all about?:
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.
Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?
What did I think?:
This book is the September read for my Kid-Lit challenge this year which I participate in with my sister ChrissiReads. I have to admit that I have never actually heard of this book before, and was shocked to see how popular it is. I’m not certain if it was more popular in the U.S, but wasn’t widely read in the U.K? Either way, I’m very pleased that I’ve finally read it and can see what all the fuss is about. The story centres around the Murry family, mainly the daughter Meg (who was an incredibly likeable character to me from the start) her youngest brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin. It opens on a very windy evening where Meg is having trouble sleeping in her attic bedroom so ventures down to the kitchen where she joins Charles Wallace and her mother in a midnight snack. The reader is told that their father is absent, but everything seems to be slightly peculiar and mysterious, and there is no telling where he is and when he might return. A stranger blows into the kitchen whom Charles Wallace seems to know as Mrs Whatsit, who mentions the word “tesseract,” in connection with their father, kicking off an exciting adventure where Meg, Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin travel through space and different worlds in order to help and rescue their father, learning a few life lessons along the way.
This was such a lovely book to read, and I think I would have thoroughly enjoyed reading it as a child. It has a bit of everything and I think that is part of its charm – magic, strange creatures, relatable characters that can serve as decent role models, humour, a couple of scary moments to get the heart pounding, oh and a giant, evil pulsating brain. (Shouldn’t every story have one of those?!) It has morals without coming across as preachy, teaches the value of our families and encourages children to grow and develop as individuals by addressing them as if they were adults, not idiots, which I found personally refreshing. There is the suggestion of faith through Christianity, but I don’t find this comes across in an obnoxious manner, and would not be offensive to any atheists. This is a beautiful piece of classic children’s literature and I would definitely be interested to read the other books in the series, while images from this story will remain with me for a while. Especially the pulsating brain.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):