What to Read After You’ve Seen (and Loved) A Wrinkle in Time
I have loved Meg Murray since my mom read A Wrinkle in Time out loud to me before bedtime. I loved her glasses. Her larger than life intelligence and unmanageable emotions. And I really loved when Calvin O’Keefe said she had “dreamboat eyes.” It’s a book I’ve returned to again and again. With each reread, I appreciate new levels and learn something new. So many Rioters love this book and have been eagerly awaiting the epic film adaptation. And it’s finally here!
Whether you are a Madeleine L’Engle superfan or this is your introduction to her work, here are ideas for what to read after you watch—and inevitably love—the movie.
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel Adapted by Hope Larson
Okay, so first things first…if you have not yet read the original A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, it’s time. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Read that book! But if you have and you want to experience the magic again, or you want a refresher, read Hope Larson’s graphic novel adaptation. The emotions and visual imaginations of faraway planets and worlds from the book come through in every illustrated page. From the opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night,” onward I was hooked. And, perhaps best of all, Larson’s own love and reverence for classic is saturated throughout the story.
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle
Okay, I’m going to tell you all a secret. I love A Wrinkle in Time. But I love the sequel A Wind in the Door even more. In this one, Charles Wallace is seriously ill. Meg and Calvin travel into his body with the help of a cherubim named Progignoskes to try and save him. The message remains the same as the previous book: love is an incredible, life saving power. Meg really seems to grow up in this one, and this is a perfect read if you finish the movie and find yourself thinking okay, but what happens next?
The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle
There are a lot of books by Madeleine L’Engle to read next if you want to leave the Time Quintet. A Ring of Endless Light and Camilla are the two that come to mind, but L’Engle also wrote books for adults, poetry, nonfiction, and about her faith. Still, I think The Arm of the Starfish is a fun follow up. The story feels a little more modern and suspenseful than the Time books. It features Meg as a mother and grown-up scientist. The main character is one of her marine biology students helping with her research for the summer. He finds himself caught between two dangerous groups battling for the outcome of Dr. O’Keefe’s discovery and must deal with the adoration of Meg’s teenage daughter, Polly. Swoon!
Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A WRinkle in Time by her Granddaughters by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy
This middle grade biography uses family archives to discuss the life and many works of Madeleine L’Engle. It covers the time from Madeleine’s childhood to just after she published A Wrinkle in Time. The book includes photographs, poems, journal entries, letters, and family memories that help the reader understand what lead Madeleine L’Engle to eventually write such a beloved book. It is a story of turning loneliness, hardship, and rejection into storytelling. Aspiring writers, in particular, shouldn’t skip this one!
When You Reach Me by rebecca stead
This Newberry award–winning middle grade book follows Miranda, a sixth grader living in New York City. She loves A Wrinkle in Time and carries the book with her everywhere. She even compares the people and events in her life to the characters and plot of the book. Miranda’s normal life gets turned upside down, when she starts receiving anonymous notes that tell her things about the future that no one should be able to know. Now she has a mystery to uncover and a decision to make: is she going to write back or not?
Akata Witch by nnedi Okorafor
Twelve-year-old Sunny was born in the United States but now lives in Nigeria. She’s bullied at school for being albino and “akata,” a Yoruba word used for Black Americans. Little does she know, she possesses deep hereditary magic from the Leopard world, where your flaws give you special powers. Now Sunny must deal with new friends, new abilities, and, most frighteningly, new dangers that she never could’ve imagined. This book is more fantasy to A Wrinkle in Time’s sci-fi vibes. However, the narrative with three children saving the world from darkness and a main character who just can’t fit in anywhere will feel very familiar to any Madeleine L’Engle fan!
Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin
Like Meg Murray, Luisa is a teenage math and science genius who can’t wait to move beyond school. When a deadly virus kills thousands of people and forces her infected father into quarantine, she knows she has to do something. Luisa receives a cryptic message from someone who might know how to stop the epidemic. So she hits the road with her brother, crush, and best friend to drive across the country to try to find the man with the key for curing the virus. She’ll take some big risks, embraces her synesthesia, and use all her computer coding skills in order to save her father…and the world.
Dawn by Octavia Butler
For diverse, feminist science fiction, the master is Octavia Butler. Add in the fact that Ava Duvernay is adapting this book for television, and it’s a must-see for people who love the A Wrinkle in Time movie. The book is the first in Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy. In it, a woman wakes up hundreds of years after being abducted (or saved, depending on your perspective) by aliens after a nuclear catastrophe on Earth. Now Lilith must merge her genetics with her alien saviors and return to help resettle her home planet with her not-quite-human children. It sounds a little spooky. But since the director of A Wrinkle in Time is making it, you better believe I’ll be watching.