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Wind in the Door (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet) Paperback – 1 May 2007
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"Complex concepts of space and time are handled well for young readers, and the author creates a suspenseful, life-and-death drama that is believably of cosmic significance. Complex and rich in mystical religious insights, this is breathtaking entertainment." --Starred, School Library Journal
About the Author
Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) was the Newbery Medal-winning author of more than 60 books, including the much-loved A Wrinkle in Time. Born in 1918, L'Engle grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina and Massachusetts. Her father was a reporter and her mother had studied to be a pianist, and their house was always full of musicians and theater people. L'Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, then returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with a play, she wrote her first book, The Small Rain, originally published in 1945. She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in The Cherry Orchard.
Upon becoming Mrs. Franklin, L'Engle gave up the stage in favor of the typewriter. In the years her three children were growing up, she wrote four more novels. Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, and the family moved to western Connecticut and for ten years ran a general store. Her book Meet the Austins, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book of 1960, was based on this experience.
Her science fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal. Two companion novels, A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (a Newbery Honor book), complete what has come to be known as The Time Trilogy, a series that continues to grow in popularity with a new generation of readers. Her 1980 book A Ring of Endless Light won the Newbery Honor. L'Engle passed away in 2007 in Litchfield, Connecticut.
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As with 'A Wrinkle in Time', this novel for children and teens is character-based fantasy, although the first half is mostly set in the real world.
In the second part of the story, Charles' sister Meg has to solve some difficult problems, and ventures into a very unlikely place. The author mixes science, fantasy and spirituality in a novel that’s sometimes confusing but is very readable.
Underneath the fantasy it’s a story about the battle of good and evil, about the power of love and friendship, and about doing what’s right. There are Christian values if one looks for them, but the book can be read from a secular point of view too.
Ideal for any fluently reading child of about eight and upwards, or a good read-aloud for any age.
A WIND IN THE DOOR, although labeled Children's Fiction, should be read by both children and adults. The conflict arises when Charles Wallace sees a drove of dragons by the twins' garden. Of course its not dragons, but it is indeed something. Whereas TIME did experiments on the theme of time, WIND goes the other way and instead concentrates on Size. Of course, the central character again is Meg, with the help of Calvin and Mr. Jenkins and two other characters, Proginoskes and Sporos. Who are the last two? Read and find out -- but both will take your imaginiation where its never been before.
The themes of love again arises in this, but with a unique spin of "Naming". The villians this time around, although they were present in the previous volume just without a name, are the Ecthroi (or Ecthros, singular). They take the theme of nothingness (which shows up in LORD OF THE RINGS) and how they want to destroy creation. God created all of this universe and this creation for specific reasons, and we all have elements and things we are to experience and encounter of the universe, the Creation, are not according to God's order. This is a very dominant theme in this work.
I really don't know how to describe the effect this book has had on me. Its like my imagination has been dipped in a brand new element of MYTH. C. S. Lewis spoke of such an effect when he read George MacDonald's PHANTASES, and while I am not comparing these books to MacDonald, the effect is somewhat similar. My mind goes into this, just shattered and put back together by the sheer beauty that goes in here. The modernists are right -- language is to inadequate to describe the effect these two books have had on me (read WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson to get the full gest of what I'm saying). Its books like these that make me wish things like this happened in my sphere of existence. Its books like this and Narnia and Earthsea that make me wonder why they can't happen to me. Don't get me wrong when I say this, but this has something that the other two I just Named do not. I love Narnia dearly, but L'Engle satisfies something in my psyche that I have not encountered in Narnia or anywhere else for that matter. Don't think I'm saying she's better than Lewis, because that's not what I'm saying. Narnia has things that this does not also. Its just there are things that are very unique to L'Engle that I have never encountered in a writer before. Its like I've been emersed into a world of myth. Again, while not comparing the two in content or in quality, I get this same longing, this same feeling when I read THE HOBBIT. There's a beauty there that strikes me to the core. But L'Engle is as different from Tolkien as she is from Lewis. All three have something to offer (and Peake does as well, who wrote GORMENGHAST) which give me that same longing and that same sense of joy and beauty, but they get this out of me from wildly different techniques. You probably don't understand what I'm trying to say. If I could kythe with you, then you would be able to understand. But that's alright. I know one thing.
I've been changed.
It is a red herring to call this work a children's book. What it truly is is a book for those who want to expand their mind and their view of the universe, including children. I first read this book at age 11 and have continued to read it repeatedly up until 17; I expect to continue to reread it for a long time to come.
I consider this entire series a "must read" for children, much in the same way some people say C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narinia are a "must read."
This series (and this book in particular) are very reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia, I think. I highly reccommend both series.
If you enjoy "curling up with a good book" the way I do, I think you'll enjoy this book and the rest of the books in this series.
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