• Madeleine L'Engle (November
29, 1918 – September 6, 2007)
was an American writer best
known for young-adult
fiction, particularly the
Newbery Medal-winning A
Wrinkle in Time and its
sequels: A Wind in the
Door, National Book Award-
winning A Swiftly Tilting
Planet, and Many Waters.
• Her works reflect both her
Christian faith and her strong
interest in modern science.
• L'Engle wrote her first story at age five
and began keeping a journal at age eight.
• The L'Engle family traveled frequently. At
one point, the family moved to a chateau
near Chamonix in the French Alps, in what
Madeleine described as the hope that the
cleaner air would be easier on her father's
• Madeleine was sent to a boarding school
in Switzerland. However, in 1933, L'Engle's
grandmother fell ill, and they moved near
Jacksonville, Florida to be close to her.
• When her father died in 1935, Madeleine
arrived home too late to say goodbye.
• After graduating from college, she moved to
an apartment in New York City in 1942.
There, she met actor Hugh Franklin when she
appeared in the play with him. They married
on January 26, 1946, the year after the
publication of her first novel, The Small Rain.
The couple's first daughter, Josephine, was
born in 1947.
• The family moved to a 200-year-old
farmhouse called Crosswicks in
Goshen, Connecticut in 1952.
• To replace Franklin's lost acting income, they
purchased and operated a small general
store, while L'Engle continued with her
• Their son Bion was born that same year.
Four years later, they adopted seven-year-old
Maria, the daughter of family friends who
had died. During this period, L'Engle also
served as choir director of the local
• L'Engle determined to give up writing
on her 40th birthday when she
received yet another rejection notice.
Soon she discovered both that she
could not give it up and that she had
continued to work on stories
• The family returned to New York City
in 1959 so that Hugh could resume
his acting career. The move was
preceded by a ten-week cross-
country camping trip, during which
L'Engle first had the idea for her most
famous novel, A Wrinkle in
Time, which she completed by 1960.
• It was rejected more than thirty
times before she handed it to John C.
Farrar; it was finally published in
• The story revolves around a young
teenage girl, Meg, whose father, a
government scientist, has gone missing
after working on a mysterious project
called a tesseract.
• She and her odd, misunderstood little
brother, Charles Wallace, along with
Calvin, a handsome boy from school, meet
three strange, otherworldly “witches”
who claim to know where Meg & Charles
Wallace’s father is, and how to rescue
• This leads them on a fantastic planet-
hopping trip through space, and a
terrifying meeting with the soul-stealing ...
• After it was published, A Wrinkle
In Time won the top award for
children’s literature, The Newbery
Medal, as well as several other
• It continues to be one of the
most-loved, best known works of
• It also created, and continues to
create some controversy in
schools, due to it’s depiction of
witches and obvious Christian
references, which are reminiscent
of another popular children’s
author, C.S. Lewis, as well as J.K.
Rowling’s wildly successful Harry
• A Wrinkle In Time continues
to be considered one of the
classic benchmarks in young
adult literature, and
continues to be one of the
most-read books amongst
• It has been adapted into
several different mediums
over the years, including:
• A television movie
• A graphic novel
• A stage play
• Following the success of the first
novel, Madeleine L’Engle continued
the adventures of the Murry family
with A Wind In The
Door, published in 1973.
• When a strange “dragon” of many
eyes and wings appears in the
family’s garden, an alien “teacher”
warns of an ancient evil, the
Echthroi (the evil forces that tear
skies, snuff out light, and darken
planets) which has come to our
• Meg and Calvin must travel inside
little Charles Wallace’s body, inside
his very cells, to fight an evil which
could rip the universe apart!
• Next in the series is A Swiftly
Tilting Planet, published in 1978.
• Charles Wallace, now fifteen
years old, must travel back in
time to change certain past
events, or a madman threatens to
destroy the world with nuclear
• As he enters other people’s
bodies, he sees through their
eyes, and begins to understand
how small choices can have large
• Can he do what must be done to
save the world?
• The final novel in the Time Quartet is
Many Waters, published in 1986.
• The story features the two middle
boys of the Murry family, the twins
Sandy and Dennys.
• In what was her most explicit
Christan-themed story yet, the boys
are taken back to early human
history, meeting angelic
creatures, savage giants, and the
biblical prophet Noah and his
estranged family, just as the fabled
Ark was being built.
• The boys are separated and must
come to terms with issues of
science, faith, and growing up.
• Madeleine L’Engle’s books
stretched the boundaries of what
young adult literature
was, bringing themes of science
and religion together in ways
that had not been attempted
before, or since.
• After a career spanning nearly 30
years and with over 45 books
published, Madeleine L’Engle
died in 2007 in Connecticut.
• Her remarkable books, with their
challenging themes, continue to
amaze and enthrall young readers
around the world.
At Tara in this fateful hour,
I place all Heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath,
And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the wind with its swiftness along its
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the Earth with its starkness
All these I place
By God's almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness.
St. Patrick’s Rune ~ from A Swiftly Tilting
A NUTSY THE SQUIRREL PRODUCTION
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