A Wind in the Door A Wind in the Door

by Madeleine L'Engle

Hardcover, 1973

Call number



Farrar Straus & Giroux (1973), Edition: Eighteenth Printing, 211 pages


With Meg Murry's help, the dragons her six-year-old brother saw in the vegetable garden play an important part in his struggle between life and death.

User reviews

LibraryThing member thelorelei
While "A Wind in the Door" is nowhere nearly as well-known or iconic as its predecessor, "A Wrinkle in Time," this book holds just as dear a place in my heart. In it, Meg must learn to feel love where she does not wish to feel it, and to recognize the inherent interconnectedness of every living
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thing in the Universe. It is only in this way that she can save her young brother, Charles Wallace, who is dying because fantastical denizens of his mitochondria, the "farandolae," refuse to understand the importance of the universe beyond themselves, thus allowing their home to wither and be extinguished.
This, of course, is L'Engles way of saying that self-centeredness and inability to see how our actions affect others is something that puts the world at terrible risk.
It is a worthwhile and, indeed, a vital message for children, packaged in a well-written, captivating story.
I also have a special place in my heart for this book as that which introduced me to mitochondria and Lynn Margulis's theory of endosymbiosis, which had only been published seven years previous to the writing of this book and was by no means immediately accepted by the scientific community. While much of the "science" surrounding Charles Wallace's health is pure fantasy, L'Engle was clearly on top of the breakthroughs being made.
"A Wind in the Door" is a worthy continuation of the Murray family's adventures that easily stands on its own. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member threadnsong
What a phenomenal book that still holds up, even decades later. This was the first Madeline L'Engle book I read and it is still my favorite. Written in the mid-70's with a teenage woman as the protagonist, and a scientist as a mother, and the family doctor as a woman, it was as revolutionary in its
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characters as it was in its concepts. Cellular biology was getting a boost, and along comes the idea that the powerhouses of our cells, mitochondria, have something that powers THEM, called farandolae.

And then there's the kything with a cherubim! What a cool concept and something that fit right in with the ventures into the paranormal that were also so prevalent in the 1970s. A lot of the thinking got transformed into the New Age movement, but the idea of mind-speaking at a level beyond mental telepathy was fascinating to my 11 year old brain. And I loved Progo as much as Meg does and liked how the two of them have to work to find their connection to one another. Me, I just thought he was cool.

There were a surprising amount of adult-level conversations that Meg has to have with the adults around her: Mr. Jenkins, Progo, and Blajeny. I probably skimmed over them when I was younger, but now I am suitably impressed that no one talks down to Meg or to her brother, Charles Wallace, or even to the twins.

Glad I re-read this classic after all this time.
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LibraryThing member ferebend
A worthy follow-up to "A Wrinkle in Time," this book was probably the first thing that made me aware of how tremendously vast the universe is in scale, from the microscopic to the cosmic, and beyond. (It's also responsible for me knowing what a mitrochondria was several years before taking high
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school biology!)

A must-read for young fantasy-lovers, especially those who enjoyed its predecessor.
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LibraryThing member MerryMary
Charles Wallace is dieing, and his survival is tied in some way to the survival of the universe and all things. As we are microscopic atoms of life in our vast universe, so too is mitochondria microscopic in the vast universe that is Charles Wallace. A many-eyed cheribim leads Meg on a series of
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challenges to save her little brother and all he is connected to - which is everything.
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LibraryThing member lcrouch
Yet another Time book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is nice to read about families who, though odd in many ways, love each other and show it.
LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
This is the second book in a classic trilogy of children's books. It's shelved in the section for the seven to thirteen set, but I'm reading it for the first time as an adult. There are some children's or young adult books I've first read as an adult I've loved without qualification. I wouldn't
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though put this up there with such books by Lewis Carroll, Philip Pullman, C.S. Lewis or J.K. Rowling. I don't think the writing, world-building or characters are as strong. However, I'd probably have loved these books had I first read them as a child. And for what it's worth, I liked this second book more than the first book, A Wrinkle in Time. Meg, Charles and Calvin, the children at the center of these books, did grow on me in this book.

I knew going in from a friend who loves these that, like Narnia, (or even Potter for all that it's subtle) that these are Christian fiction. It's not as blatant as in Narnia, and in fact, more than two-thirds way through the trilogy, it might be more accurate to call these "theist" or Judeo-Christian than specifically Christian. There's no Aslan-like character here, though there is a cherubim in this one. (And a cool snake, Louise the Larger--L'Engle is certainly kinder to snakes than Rowling.) While I thought Lewis knocked you over the head with the religious aspects, with L'Engle--despite some Biblical quotes and angel characters--it's more a gentle tap. Although I wouldn't call Narnia sexist exactly--the girls are just as strong as the boys and Lewis is very gender-balanced--he does fall into what a friend called "gender fail" at times, while L'Engle's female characters are strong and thoroughly modern. Meg and Charles' parents are scientists--the mother holds double doctorates in biology and bacteriology.

Which leads me to another aspect of the books I really appreciated--especially in contrast to C.S. Lewis. Lewis can come across as anti-science, anti-reason, anti-tech. While L'Engle doesn't play with science quite in the sophisticated ways Pullman did in His Dark Materials, she still uses it in positive ways. How can I not find it cool to read a book staring the mitochondria? And in the end, I did enjoy this enough I went on to read the next and last book in the trilogy, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and so far am enjoying it quite a lot. For an adult, the books in the trilogy are all very fast easy reads.
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LibraryThing member kawgirl
The follow up story after "A Wrinkle in Time." It's fun to follow the characters through their next adventure.
LibraryThing member stipe168
part two of the trilogy, beginning with a wrinkle in time. i don't remember it too well, but i remember loving it. she has a very beautifully spacey language.
LibraryThing member HippieLunatic
A Wind in the Door far surpassed my current feelings toward A Wrinkle... though I must admit it didn't meet the memory I have of the first book in the TIme Quartet.

Wind seemed to be more about understanding growth and life and less about the need to let go of inhibitions, which is a more fitting
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message for me in my life right now. Yes, Meg gets a bit whiney, and there is a LOT of science fiction here, but L'Engle is able to put it into amazing perspective for the pages of a book. It was not my favorite read of all time (or even this year) but I am glad I picked it up, and I'll be continuing with the remaining Quartet novels as well.
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LibraryThing member readingrat
A good story but not as poignant as A Wrinkle in Time.
LibraryThing member SandSing7
I found A Wind in the Door a very different book from its predecessor - much more technical and a lot more "science fiction" than A Wrinkle in Time. Without the character of Charles Wallace, who was taken ill during the majority of the story, the story didn't hold my interest as much, and I found
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myself getting frustrated with the whiney, floundering Meg as the protagonist.
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LibraryThing member ethelmertz
Another wonderful book to remind us of how important we are to each other
LibraryThing member kpalmer07
This is a great example of science fiction. The entire book is centered around the idea of a sickness being caused by Mitochondria and farandolae. The book takes place at parts at a microscopic level actually in the human body and then it takes place in a cosmos atmosphere too. Here it talks of
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stars and rips in the galaxy and creatures from beyond. The book is centralized around these points of science. While it may seem hard to follow sometimes, it is all made believable as the reader progresses through the book.

This book travels through a very complex, but complete plot line. It definitely has its beginning, middle, climax, and end. The book begins with the introduction of all the characters, who they are, their relationships. It also grabs attention by Charles Wallace talking about dragons. The book continues to build through meeting strange characters like Blajeny and the Cherubim. It reaches it's climax of Charles Wallace almost dieing and finds its conclusion through Charles being saved and the bad Echthroi being defeated.

Media: N/A
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LibraryThing member andersonden
This is actually the second in a loose trilogy that started with A Wrinkle In Time. For those unfamiliar with the series it revolves around the adventures of Meg and Charles Murray - the children of famous scientists - and their own experiential scientific discoveries. This book follows them inside
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another person's body where they travel in order to mend damage done at a molecular level. The characters are well realized and we are drawn completely into their world. The science is clear and fascinating.
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LibraryThing member lppeters
This book kept me a little more captured because it ran off the last one. I thought that this would be a good book to do a novel study with a class because I think it would be easy, and good, to focus in on how the children felt different and left out by their peers. By doing that, I think it would
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take a more realistic turn on a typically more science like discussion.
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LibraryThing member readafew
A Wind in the Door is the sequel to A Wrinkle in Time and takes place the next autumn. Charles Wallace has started school and is having a hard time adjusting and is getting beat up at least once a week. We also find Charles Wallace coming down with a mysterious illness and Mrs. Murry suspects
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something is wrong with his mitochondria.

Overall another fast fun read and a great book for young adults. At this point in my life I find Meg irritating but I remember I didn't think so when I read it back in school. Like Wrinkle it doesn't go a lot into the explaining the whys and hows but just keeps the story moving right along. Meg is forced to look at people in a new light most especially her nemesis Mr. Jenkins. Good story worth an afternoon to read.
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LibraryThing member hgcslibrary
Companion to A Wrinkle in Time. Meg Murry worries about her bright, six year-old brother, Charles Wallace, who says there are dragons in the garden. But he is right!
LibraryThing member annikasmith
The theme of this book is being loved and named. All creatures both great and small, usual and unusual want to be known and named. This theme is previlent throughout this novel. Madeleine L'Engle weaves an intricate story with descriptive words and fantastic imagery which tells the story of Meg and
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her discovery of the roots of life- love, and being known and named. This book is an example of science fiction because a main part of the novel is the importance of scientific laws, biology and time, space travel. Things occur in which you must suspend your disbelief. The characters interact with many scientific inquiries and travel inside a boy's body in order to save his life.
Appropriate Age: Middle School
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LibraryThing member Barb_H
Strange, but interesting story. I definitely like A Wrinkle in Time better, but this book wasn't bad. It was okay.
LibraryThing member norabelle414
Hmm. Definitely not her best. The plot wasn't very consistent; it was slow (but in a good way, not a boring way) for almost all of the book, and then everythinghappenedallatonce and then it was over. I also found it rather strange that there wasn't a single mention of the events of the previous
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book in this one. Not even a "Meg and Calvin had been through a lot together" or "Their father had been missing once" or something like that. It made me feel a little awkward that there wasn't. Meg has matured in this book, though.

Basically, it's a coming-of-age book, but in the most complicated way possible.
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LibraryThing member davegregg
This book had some interesting thoughts, and its a L'Engle book, so I gave it four stars. Otherwise, I didn't really enjoy it much.
LibraryThing member kellyholmes
The second book in a beautiful series.
LibraryThing member the1butterfly
This is a wonderful book- I love being with Meg and I wanted to re-read it to come back to her. It went so much deeper when I reread it though. I've been working with the concepts of zen. There are things we can't understand, but we don't need to. Trying to understand that which is beyond human
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comprehension gives us distress- that's one of the many concepts this book touches on. Being, existing, knowing that you are, that's important. It's a release to accept. So this is life-relevant in that I'm working with these concepts right now.
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LibraryThing member Coffeehag
I really enjoyed this book! The fascinating scientific and mathematical details in it might have inspired me to study science had I read it as a child. I found it intriguing the way L'Engle weaves science and fantasy into a riveting children's story. I read this as bedtime reading, but I had a hard
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time putting it down and going to sleep!
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LibraryThing member gypsysmom
I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the last half. I was quite charmed by the children and the arrival of the teacher and the cherubim. I think I lost some enthusiasm when everyone travelled into the mitochondria and did battle with the Kairos. I didn't realize until I was into the book
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that it was a continuation of A Wrinkle in Time which I have always meant to read but have not so far. I think I will read that book and see if it is an improvement.
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