Home » Children's Books » Before the movie, a classic book: Teachers share favorite ‘Wrinkle in Time’ moments

Before the movie, a classic book: Teachers share favorite ‘Wrinkle in Time’ moments

From The Deseret News:

When “A Wrinkle in Time” hits the big screen at theaters nationwide on Thursday, a new vision of the story will take hold. For the past 50 years, that vision has existed largely in the minds of readers, of which there’s been no shortage: At its 50th anniversary in 2012, Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” book had sold more than 10 million copies, according to The New York Times.

Indeed, it’s been a staple in elementary school curriculums for generations now. The Deseret News spoke with a few local elementary school teachers who’ve either read “A Wrinkle in Time” to their classes or had the students read it themselves.

The teachers discussed their favorite portions of the classic book.

. . . .

“A Wrinkle in Time” has its share of creepy moments. Through it all is a powerful and mysterious villain, a sinister something known only as “IT.” These moments, [fourth-grade teacher Gloria] Holmstead said, are her favorite to discuss with students.

For most of the novel, readers learn of IT only through secondhand information. It isn’t till the book’s final third that readers finally see what IT really looks like:

“A disembodied brain. An oversized brain, just enough larger than normal to be completely revolting and terrifying. A living brain. A brain that pulsed and quivered, that seized and commanded. No wonder the brain was called IT. IT was the most horrible, the most repellent thing she had ever seen, far more nauseating than anything she had ever imagined with her conscious mind, or that had ever tormented her in her most terrible nightmares.”

Holmstead said that before the students start a new chapter, she has them look at the chapter title and share their thoughts. Then they start reading. Every reader has his or her own image of the scenes and characters, and Holmstead said she keeps hers to herself. She wants to know what connections her students are making, and what kinds of images the book conjures for her young readers. These images, she explained, have changed considerably through the years.

. . . .

“The whole story is essentially about the uniqueness of the kids … and that they were viewed as different,” [fourth-grade teacher Elizabeth] Sagers explained. “We spent a lot of time (discussing it) in the class. We spent a lot of time talking about conformity, and how there are times when it’s important to conform — when you go to school, and there are certain rules in the classroom that you are expected to follow — but there are other parts of the day, and other parts of your life, where conformity is not what you should do. And there are times when you celebrate your differences.”

Link to the rest at The Deseret News

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7 Comments to “Before the movie, a classic book: Teachers share favorite ‘Wrinkle in Time’ moments”

  1. A Wrinkle in Time is the book that made me decide I was going to be a writer. I’m not going to see the movie, though. There’s something off about the trailer, and I don’t trust Hollywood not to f*** it up.

    • The S J Ws at Disney have corrupted it. That’s what is off about it.

      • Desmond X. Torres

        I don’t know why you wrote that, but you put your finger on something that resonated with me. I too was left cold by the trailer. I never read the book, and if anything, the trailer turned me off of reading it.

        As opposed to Hunger Games. The trailer got me to start the series, and I saw the movie as soon as I finished Book 1.

      • You realize that actual fighters for social justice consider “S J W” a badge of honor, right? Along with “snowflake?”

        Because you know you’re fighting the good fight when misanthropic, petty bigots call you names.

        Also? The movie looks like crap, but not because they included people of color left out of the otherwise excellent novel, but because of the over-the-top and unnecessary costuming/set. Looks like Oz. Definitely not how L’Engle described it.

  2. Yeah, a wrinkle in time was the first book that really spoke to me. It started a life long love of Science Fiction but I’m afraid to see the movie.

  3. My favorite A Wrinkle In Time memory, forty-odd years old —

    Junior high geometry class, and the teacher is explaining/showing real life dimensional constructs. She draws a line on a sheet of paper — one dimension. She draws a square on the paper — two dimensions. She draws a cube on the paper — three dimensions. Then the teacher brings up the concept of four dimensions.

    I — who had read Wrinkle at least a half-dozen times at this point — pipe up with the (unsolicited) information that a four-dimensional representation of the cube is a tesseract.

    Teacher slits her eyes — I am the class pita — and demands to know where I heard such a thing. I reply that I read it in A Wrinkle In Time.

    Teacher sniffs — yes, she really did sniff! — and advised me not to believe everything I read in books.

    This drove me to the library to find the word “tesseract” in the Unabridged Dictionary. It was there, and I was right, but I had to keep it to myself, since I’d been warned about volunteering information in class. But she didn’t deter me from reading Wrinkle again …

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