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A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 1 Summary

Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

Meg Murry is just your typical loser, but life with her less-than-typical family is about to get a lot stranger. This lesson will focus on the summary of Chapter 1: Mrs. Whatsit of A Wrinkle in Time.

Background Information on A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a young adult novel by Madeline L'Engle. The book, written in 1963, won the Newbery Medal for the best contribution to children's literature that year. The book is the first in a series that follows the Murry and O'Keefe families.

Meet Meg Murry

A Wrinkle in Time opens with thirteen year old Meg Murry sitting along in her bedroom. She sleeps in the attic, and a storm is whirling outside. Meg worries that the roof of the house will blow off. Meg tosses and turns, unable to sleep.

She feels like a loser, and the reasons why run through her head. Her teachers threatened to make her stay back because she seems so slow, her friends called her a baby, and she got into a fight with a boy. But what's really bothering her is her father, who has been missing for years and years.

She hears the dog barking outside, which makes her remember that there is a tramp wandering the neighborhood, stealing sheets. She wonders if someone is outside right now.

All this worry swirls in her head until she decides to get up and make herself some hot chocolate. On her way downstairs, she passes the bedroom of her twin brothers, Dennys and Sandy. She thinks how normal they are compared to her.

Charles Wallace's New Friend

In the kitchen, Meg's youngest brother, Charles Wallace, is already making her some hot chocolate, and Meg thinks about his ability to read her mind. And their mother's. It's a bit creepy, actually. Also in the kitchen is the family's big black dog Fortinbras.

People don't think much of Charles Wallace. They're convinced he's slow (like Meg), but Meg thinks it is just because he doesn't talk to strangers. He seems much older than five to Meg.

Meg's mother, Mrs. Murry, comes into the kitchen. She doesn't think Charles Wallace or Meg is slow. Charles Wallace makes them all sandwiches to go with the hot chocolate. Meg is happy in the kitchen with her mother and brother while the storm rages outside.

Mrs. Murry tells Meg she spoke with the mother of the boy Meg was fighting with at school. She tells Meg not to take things to such extremes. Meg's mother is gorgeous and a successful scientist. She tells Meg not to worry; she was awful-looking as a teenager, too.

Charles Wallace says he should tell Mrs. Whatsit about Meg. Meg and her mother are confused by this and ask Charles Wallace who Mrs. Whatsit is. Charles Wallace says she is his new friend, and she lives in the woods with two friends. Charles Wallace met them while walking Fortinbras.

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