Ah, springtime! Chirping robins. Tender blossoms, AND ... cue the collective moan ... spring ahead clocks one hour.
Three supernatural beings transport teen Meg Murry and friends through the universe by tessering or folding back the universe to create a wrinkle in time and space.
About the Book
The first of four books about Meg and friends, this children’s sy-fy classic published in 1963 immerses readers in brilliant adventures and imaginative worlds.
Meg, a bright high-schooler, struggles at school and doesn’t fit in with the crowd. Her brother, Charles Wallace, has the same challenges. Everyone thinks Charles Wallace is dumb, but he’s actually a genius with the unique gift of reading people’s minds. He befriends three aliens, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, who whisk away the siblings and Meg’s friend, Calvin O’Keefe, to new worlds.
This is more than a jolly jaunt. The children are on a mission to save Meg’s gifted scientist father held captive by aliens on a distant planet. They must also find a way to destroy the Dark Thing, an evil force threatening to take over the universe.
What You'll Love About Wrinkle in Time
This book cemented my love of fantasy and science-fiction when I read it as a teen. But there was a depth to this tale Teen Cat didn’t realize.
Like Meg, I didn’t fit with the high school crowd. My adolescences felt lonely and unhappy. Engle delivers subtle messages I now recognize about inclusivity, courage and friendship. Her writing shows that everyone deserves to be loved; everyone can find courage to break from the pack and embrace his or her unique path. The author crafts gems like:
"If you aren’t unhappy sometimes you don’t know how to be happy."
"I’m different, and I like being different."
"There’s nothing the matter with his mind.
He just does things in his own way and his own time."
When Ava Duverny’s film, starring Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon as the three Misses, opens in March 2018, a new generation of young readers will find their wrinkle in time. And you'll be lining up at the Cineplex alongside them to rediscover L’Engle’s wonders.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick
Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lovingly tends to 27 clocks in the great Paris train station of 1931. Author Brian Selznick also turns clocks back metaphorically in a charming scene about the early days of the cinema and one of the first motion pictures made, Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon.
About the Book
Hugo lives hidden in the walls of the busy train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world collides with an eccentric bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life and his most precious secret are in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, treasured notebook, stolen key, mechanical man, and hidden message from Hugo's dead father drive this intricate and tender mystery.
What You'll Love About Hugo
The book’s 500 pages won’t put kids off because text is padded with drop-dead illustrations that earned the author/artist a 2008 Caldecott Medal. Hugo is more like a graphic novel, and that’s a kid magnet right there, especially for reluctant readers, who use drawings for content clues. Hey, you'll be dazzled by Selznick's glorious illustrations, too.
Like Wrinkle in Time, 2011's charming film retelling of this tale will have you and the kids wanting a closer look at the book.
The Time Keeper
By Mitch Albom
In this short fable, the first man on earth to count hours on a clock morphs into Father Time.
About the Book
The inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift, time. The mortal is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years, more TIME.
Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a chance to redeem himself IF he can teach two earthly people the true meaning of time.
What You’ll Love about The Time Keeper
In the mood for a gentle, quick read? This one nails it. Like his Tuesdays with Morrie and Five People You Meet in Heaven, Albom crafts another feel-good read
The plot unfolds between three main characters: Father Time, a dying elderly businessman, and a heart-broken teenage girl. Though the author’s non-linear plot shifts between time periods (think moving from the Tower of Babel to 21st-century iPhones) and from multiple perspective of its diverse trio of protagonists, Albom ties the pieces together perfectly. Best, he delivers that happy ending.
For Geeks and Sci-Fi Fans Ages 9 and Up
From the Doctor himself: Best. Description. Ever!
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly ... time-y wimey ... stuff.
Blink is one of my all-time fave Dr. Who episodes. Featuring David Tennant’s Doctor #10 and a young Carey Mulligan as heroine Sally Sparrow, the Doctor travels across time to save the world from the demonic Weeping Angels.
These creepy statues remain rooted in place and look innocent ... until you blink. Then they stalk you, coming nearer with each closed eyelid, and turn you to stone. Super-scary! First time I saw this episode, I covered my eyes with a pillow in every shot where the Angels menaced and tried not to blink.
In a now-classic scene, Sally Sparrow plays a recorded message the Doctor made in the future for her. He offers Sally a brilliant explanation of time travel, so that she will believe him and take necessary action to ward off Weeping Angels in her time. Here’s the priceless 15-second snippet:
What You’ll Love About The Weeping Angels
Director Stephen Moffat excels at making ordinary things scary. You will never look at a statue the same way again! Delightfully frightful, but not gory or sensationalized, Blink is a perfect boo-fest for kids 9 years and older.
I hope these four gems help lessen your time change chaos. What do you do to cope with losing an hour or traveling across time zones? Or are you among the lucky ones not bothered by time shifts? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
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