A Classic for a New Generation: A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Illustrated by Hope Larson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Illustrated by Hope Larson
Who hasn’t read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal? Well, that would be me. Blame it on my being an expat, but I’ve never read this children’s classic. So I was excited to get my hands on the graphic novel edition, adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson. For those of you unfamiliar with graphic novels: they’re not “just” comic books. A good graphic novel adaption will honor the novel, while bringing a new dimension to the story with illustrations.

I was curious to see if this graphic novel adaption would deliver. Can you bring a contemporary flavor to a book that’s fifty years old?

Right off the bat, the illustrations captured me as a reader, with their black, white, and blue color scheme. We’re quickly introduced to the mystery of main character Meg’s father’s disappearance while he was doing top-secret work for the government:


The graphic novel introduces the strange Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, among others, and eventually takes the mystery to supernatural levels with the tesseract—the wrinkle in time that takes the search for Meg’s father to another planet. Larson uses her illustrations to bring this space/time travel to a level impossible with words alone. Only snippets of text are added:

Aside from a few word uses—like tramp and moron—that may not suit today’s middle-grader’s vocabulary, the story holds up despite the half-century vintage. Hope Larson’s illustrations make this classic more accessible to 21st century kids, doing exactly what a graphic novel adaptation should.

Consider A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel for your reluctant kid reader—or for yourself if you missed the original version. It’s a timeless mystery, but that much cooler with illustrations.


F.T. Bradley’s debut Double Vision (Harper Children’s, October 2012) is the first in the MG mystery/thriller series featuring Linc Baker. Follow her blog YA Sleuth and Twitter @FTBradleyAuthor for YA and MG mystery news.

Read more posts by F.T. Bradley for Criminal Element.

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