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.
The characters from A House Like a Lotus return in what PW called ``a rich and heady brew . . . fine fantasy, firmly rooted in reality.'' Ages 10-up. (Dec.)
Gr 6 Up-In the fifth title (Farrar, 1989) in Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet, Polly is visiting her scientist grandparents to recover from the death of a close friend. She becomes involved in a local retired bishop's adventures and is taken back in time 3,000 years to the world of druids, Native Americans, and ancient hostilities. The gate between the circles of time closes on Polly and Zach, who has serious health issues and hopes to find an ancient healer. The pace of the story is slow until Polly becomes an important member of the ancient community of the People of the Wind, a group whose successful agricultural settlement is raided by the people across the lake who suffer from a lack of rain and starvation. When Polly is mistaken for a goddess and must face death so that others might live, narrator Ann Marie Lee picks up the pace and suggests both the urgency of the situation and the strong feelings of the ancient people who have come to love Polly. There are many discussions about the role of science and religion, the meaning of the death of Jesus, and human sacrifice as a form of capital punishment. This adventure-fantasy also looks at friendship, death, and community from a theological point of view. Lee skillfully captures Polly's independent spirit, quizzical nature, and indignation at human cruelties.-Edith Ching, Washington Latin Public Charter School, DC Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"When Polly O'Keefe visits her grandparents in Connecticut, she finds herself caught up in the lives of three mysterious strangers [who lived] 3,000 years ago [and] travels back in time to play a crucial role in an ancient confrontation...L'Engle has again achieved the award-winning style of A Wrinkle in Time. . .Highly recommended." --VOYA