Rating: 4 stars
Date begun: October 13th, 2012
Date finished: October 13th, 2012
Blurb from the back of the book, because it's been over a month since I read this (and I read it in only a few hours in the middle of the night during Read-a-thon):
Everyone in town thinks Meg is volatile and dull-witted and that her younger brother Charles Wallace is dumb. People are also saying that their father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred by these rumours, Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their new friend Calvin, embark on a perilous quest, through space to find their father. In doing so they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time.
I can totally see why this is a beloved children's classic, and it was a delight to read. Engaging child protagonists, missing parents, mysteries, adventure, space travel, exotic foreign worlds, a dark and sinister force as an antagonist - it's pretty much got the lot. Meg is loyal and clever and headstrong and oh so brave and misses her father terribly. She's a wonderful heroine, and it's no wonder that Calvin is so taken with her, even though she's an outcast and he's one of the popular kids in school.
Charles Wallace is a child genius, and as such, could've been incredibly annoying to read about, after all such characters in science fiction are not always beloved (Adric and Wesley Crusher spring to mind). But in the deft hands of Madeline L'Engle, he's neither a plot moppet, nor unbearable, and while he's clearly brilliant, he's also very convincingly a little boy.
You might not think that quantum physics and children's literature were a good combination, but this is a very cleverly written science fiction adventure, and I will absolutely be tracking down the other books in the series to see how the story of Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin develops.