1. The Cover of the Hardbound Book
2. The Book Jacket
3. The IntroductionIn her introduction, author Katherine Patterson, like Madeleine L'Engle a Newbery Medal winner, discusses the impact of A Wrinkle in Time on editors (the manuscript was rejected more than two dozen times), other adults and children, including her own. Patterson says, "In one book we confront quantum physics, Christian theology, and a cosmic struggle between good and evil. It is not difficult to understand why so many publishers were afraid to touch it....But the book that was too hard and strange for adult editors has been, for the last fifty years, joyfully claimed by young readers - millions of them from all over the world."
4. The AfterwordAt the end of the book, there is a fascinating afterword by Charlotte Jones Voiklis, Madeleine L'Engle's granddaughter. It is 16-pages long and includes 7 family photos and a copy of a letter from the book's editor. This section includes a brief biography of L'Engle, her granddaughter's memories of life with her grandmother, and a good deal about the writing of A Wrinkle in Time, the difficulty in finding a publisher and the public's reaction to the book. In terms of the controversy about the book, Voiklis says, "Gran was baffled by the charges of some Christian groups that it glorified witchcraft and new age spirituality. On the other hand, she was equally flummoxed by criticism that it was too overtly Christian."
For more about L'Engle, watch the About.com video profile of Madeleine L'Engle. For more about censorship, see All About Book Banning of Books for Kids and Teens.
5. A Chapter from the Original ManuscriptIt is always fascinating to see a work in the process of final editing, and this chapter is no exception. First, there is a typed list of chapter titles, with several titles crossed off and new handwritten titles substituted. This revised list was the list of chapters actually used in the final book. The typed chapter begins as does the first chapter of the published book, "It was a dark and stormy night." However, beginning with the next sentence and on almost every page that follows, there are minor edits, with considerable changes on several pages.
6. MemorabiliaThe six-page Memorabilia section is a great addition to the story of Madeleine L'Engle and A Wrinkle in Time. It includes photos of L'Engle as a college student, at the Newbery Award ceremony, with her husband, Hugh Franklin, and in her office. It also includes a photograph of L'Engle's grade card (she received an "A") from Columbia University for a novel writing workshop.
My favorite piece of memorabilia is the letter from Ezra Jack Keats, who won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for A Snowy Day in 1963, the same year L'Engle won the John Newbery Medal. In the letter, Keats tells L'Engle how much he enjoyed her book and says that he hopes that some day she'll write a children's picture book and let him do the illustrations.