Charles Wallace frequently visits the glacier rocks not far from the Murry’s house, a place where a wise old snake named Louise lives. But one day Charles Wallace finds what he believes to be a dragon’s feather. When he returns with Meg, they find a many-eyed, winged creature called a Cherubim, and a very tall, dark man who is a Teacher of another kind than what we have on earth. The Teacher insists that Meg must take part in three trials, alongside the Cherubim, who will teach her much about new ways to communicate, and about how to love better, even the stodgy principal Mr. Jenkins. If they pass the trials, they will save not only the sickly and dying Charles Wallace, but also stop a great evil in the universe called the Echthroi, who lie and manipulate their way into destroying everything living, even down to a new cellular level that Meg’s parents have only begun to discover the existence of. With Calvin by her side, Meg must find out how to kythe, and what it means for a person to be Named, and to be the truest version of themselves when others deceive and try to make us focus on hate. A Wind in the Door is a brilliant foray into science fiction, history, math, and the great “what if?” questions of the universe that most adults have forgotten to ask. Filled with the greatest imagination and sacrifices, this story is for anyone questioning who they are, or how to love even the meanest person, and especially for adults who forgot how to imagine or be happy. May our imaginations never be frozen, and may we all always live in harmony.
At the very beginning of the book, Meg complains about her mother not getting the spreadable kind of cream cheese for her afternoon snack sandwiches. On the day Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin met the Teacher and Proginoskes, the Murry children returned home and shared a cup of cocoa, though it was far past Charles W.’s bedtime. In the memory that Proginoskes helped Meg remember about her parents, her mother was drinking a cup of coffee.
To combine these main ingredients of Cream cheese, hot cocoa, and coffee, I created a recipe for:
Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Coffee Frosting
- salted butter, at room temperature
- vegetable oil
- brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- all-purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- baking powder
- baking soda
- large eggs, at room temperature
- vanilla extract
- sour cream
- whole milk, or heavy whipping cream
- hot, strong black coffee
- cream cheese, at room temperature
- powdered sugar
- espresso granules, (Cafe Bustelo, NOT instant)
- mini marshmallows
- For the full recipe and instructions, visit wehavekids.com/education/A-Wind-in-the-Door-Book-Discussion-and-Recipe
1.1 Why did Meg get angry whenever she was deeply worried, especially about Charles Wallace?
1.2 Why was Charles Wallace so interested in dragons and mitochondria? Why was that highly unusual?
1.3 Why do people always mistrust people who are different? How different was Charles Wallace from his classmates?
1.4 What are farandolae?
For further chapter-by-chapter discussion questions, visit wehavekids.com/education/A-Wind-in-the-Door-Book-Discussion-and-Recipe.
The next books in this series, are A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time. Another family adventure series by Madeleine L’Engle begins with Meet the Austins. This book follows the adventures of Meg and Charles Wallace, who saved their father from an evil planet in A Wrinkle in Time.
Similar fantasy/time and planet travel series books for children is The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C. S. Lewis, which can be begun with the first book or the second: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is similar in the bird-creatures disappearing into the sky, and the way that a young child helps with the fabric of time and defeating evil.
Other common age-appropriate adventure and sci-fi books include The Phantom Tollbooth, The Bridge to Terabithia, and The Neverending Story.
“You are called, and anybody who is invited to study with one of the Teachers is called because he is needed. You have talents we cannot afford to lose.”
“Before your time with me is over, I may have to take you great distances, and to very strange places.”
“What is real?”
“Too many of my colleagues have forgotten that they are supposed to practice the art of healing. If I don’t have the gift of healing in my hands, then all my expensive training isn’t worth much.”
“You mean he makes you feel more you, don’t you?”
“I’m real, and most earthlings can bear very little reality.”
“In a world which has become so blunted by dishonor and violence that people casually take it for granted.”
“There are still stars which move in beautiful and ordered rhythm. There are still people in this world who keep promises. Even little ones…that is enough to keep my heart optimistic, no matter how pessimistic my mind…The naked intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument.”
“The cherubic language is entirely kything—with you, with stars, with galaxies, with the salt in the ocean, the leaves of the trees.”
“We don’t have to know everything at once,. We just do one thing at a time, as it is given us to do.”
“Love isn’t how you feel. It’s what you do.”
“It is the nature of love to create. It is the nature of hate to destroy.”
“We have to live together in harmony or we won’t live at all.”