From “A Wrinkle in Time” to Astronaut

As a young girl, Janice Voss selected A Wrinkle in Time at her local library, unaware that the book would change her life.  

At age 16, she entered college, then interned with NASA, determined to become an astronaut.

Voss died this week of cancer.   One of only six women to have gone into space five times, she explored “the behavior of fire in weightlessness, how plants adapt to extraterrestrial flight” (NYT) and more.

She logged nearly 19 million miles circling the Earth.

Madeleine L’Engle‘s 1963 Newberry Medal Winner tells the story of how Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe, travel through time and space, battling evil powers, searching for the Murry children’s father.  More fantasy than science fiction- the characters aren’t imbued with superhuman characteristics – this novel, considered a classic, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

I taught A Wrinkle in Time and the four others in the L’Engle’s Time Quintet to urban middle school students.  Suspending belief and allowing their imaginations to enter unknown galaxies proved challenging for many.  Yet they preserved and came to love the characters and their odyssey.

I don’t know where those former students are now. Maybe some are scientists, inspired by their reading.

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2 Responses to From “A Wrinkle in Time” to Astronaut

  1. Nancy Janow says:

    Oh Lisa, Wrinkle in Time was my absolute favorite book growing up. I didn’t become a scientist but perhaps things evolved to the next best thing!


  2. Great book. Hard to believe that I read it all those years ago. I discovered it in the library of my school. I remember winning the Book Award because over the summer breaks I read the most books. I was a day dreamer and spent so many days in another world. This was one of my favorite books. I think I will have to get it and read it again.


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