BOOK REVIEWS

Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-06-22 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0374307644
LANGUAGE:English

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this biography of Madeleine L'Engle, by her granddaughters. What added to my enjoyment were the many journal entries that Madeliene had written over the years that her granddaughters had insdrted throughout the book. She truly had a challenging but very interesting life. It was also very interesting about when she met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, who eventually played "Dr. Charles Tyler" on All My Children, my favorite soap opera. I read "A Wrinkle in Time" many years ago, as an adult and an educator and have nothing but praise for her writing and imagination, for a science fiction book, far ahead of its time. G-D Bless her for her continued Determination and Belief in her abilities as a writer and to never have given up on her Belief, that the book she eventually won the Newberry Award for, "A Wrinkle in Time" should be published and she was adamant that she would not make any additional changes to it, Because she Believed in it so thoroughly." said.

"My book club is re-reading "A Wrinkle in Time," and after doing that, I decided to find out more about the author, Madeleine L'Engle. What makes this book special is that her two granddaughters wrote it together, and it mostly tells some facts about her, mixes that with the stories she had told them when they were spending quality time with her, and then keeps adding excerpts from her extensive journals. Put that all together and you have a nice concise (about 160 pages) biography of her life up to the fame she received, finally, from her classic book ("Wrinkle..."). I was surprised by a lot of things --- that she was involved with theatre during her whole young life, that she married an actor (who had a prime role later on in life in the soap opera "All My Children." I also didn't know that she was in a boarding school a lot of her young life because her parents were too busy living their lives. And that the next book i read, "And Both Were Young" is pretty much autobiographical of her time spent in that boarding school. This was a good book on this very interesting author, and I'm glad I read it." said.

"With each decade your reading life flourishes, growing in depth and breadth. Regardless of the number of titles you read, there will be those books finding a permanent place in your reader's heart; some of them read repeatedly. You will remember the wonder felt with the first reading. With each subsequent journey you take within the pages of the book, whether it's fiction or nonfiction, the wonder returns.

The books by author Madeleine L'Engle written for middle grade and young adults take your mind into places stretching your imagination and piercing your soul. Two titles leaving a lasting impression on me are Many Waters from her Time Quintet and A Ring of Endless Light from The Austin Family series. Did I enjoy the other titles in these two groups? Yes, I did but these two, after decades, I can still remember reading them the first time. Knowing more about the life of this remarkable woman through Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by her Granddaughters (Farrar Straus Giroux, February 6, 2018) written by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy will captivate and inspire readers.


My full recommendation: http://librariansquest.blogspot.com/2...
" said.

""Since becoming a Madeleine L’Engle aficionado after a sixth grade school assignment nearly four decades ago, I have often wondered how the author developed her unique and distinctive voice and vision. Ms. L’Engle’s beloved granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy, reveal those origins in Becoming Madeleine, their insightful biography of their grandmother—through the publication of A Wrinkle in Time—mainly via family pictures and excerpts from letters and journals.

From real life events that readers will recognize from almost all of her work to the origins of her nom de plume (I had NO idea!), Becoming Madeleine presents a complete picture of the author including her flaws as well as her strengths, making it even easier to identify with her and her writing. Readers will learn that Ms. L’Engle felt compelled to write from an early age, and thank goodness for that! As a Chicago Tribune review of one of her earliest works observed, 'Miss L’Engle has the happy gift of never being obvious. She writes with subtlety and in realizing her characters, she suggests rather than explains.'

If you’re at all interested in Madeleine L’Engle’s books, I would strongly suggest reading Becoming Madeleine by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy," - DJ
" said.

""Since becoming a Madeleine L’Engle aficionado after a sixth grade school assignment nearly four decades ago, I have often wondered how the author developed her unique and distinctive voice and vision. Ms. L’Engle’s beloved granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy, reveal those origins in Becoming Madeleine, their insightful biography of their grandmother—through the publication of A Wrinkle in Time—mainly via family pictures and excerpts from letters and journals.

From real life events that readers will recognize from almost all of her work to the origins of her nom de plume (I had NO idea!), Becoming Madeleine presents a complete picture of the author including her flaws as well as her strengths, making it even easier to identify with her and her writing. Readers will learn that Ms. L’Engle felt compelled to write from an early age, and thank goodness for that! As a Chicago Tribune review of one of her earliest works observed, 'Miss L’Engle has the happy gift of never being obvious. She writes with subtlety and in realizing her characters, she suggests rather than explains.'

If you’re at all interested in Madeleine L’Engle’s books, I would strongly suggest reading Becoming Madeleine by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy," - DJ
" said.

"Recommended!

Becoming Madeleine is a biography aimed toward middle grade readers, or between the ages of 8-12, written by Madeleine's granddaughters, Charlotte and Léna. The "action" of the book starts with background information on Madeleine's parents and concludes at the publication of A Wrinkle in Time; the authors also include more personal notes at the beginning and end of the book. I thought they did a great job setting the context of the United States at war and how disorienting it was for Madeleine to move around so much as a child. The best parts of this book are the many photos, scanned letters, and excerpts from Madeleine's journals. I have read so many of Madeleine's memoirs that none of the events in this book were new to me. I actually found it comforting when the authors quoted her and I saw the familiar turns of phrase. The most delightful parts for me were the snippets from her journals, like when she writes as a child, "I have made a sort of promise to myself saying that I will not read trash books." HA! I really hope young readers read this book, develop deep affection for childhood/adolescent Madeleine, and then go on to read and love her work. 
" said.

"Having loved Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels when I was young, and having recently seen the movie, I was interested in learning more about the author. Becoming Madeleine is a rich biography written by her granddaughters, sourced largely based on L'Engle's journals, letters and postcards through the years (she was a frequent sender of postcards to her mother.)

It was fascinating to see her very early interest in writing, and disheartening to see that various teachers put roadblocks in her way, often not believing that a young girl was capable of writing high-quality poems and essays. L'Engle's early ventures in playwriting and acting were unknown to me, as were the details of her life with her actor husband.

The granddaughters largely leave themselves out of it, describing things in a matter-of-fact style. I did find it odd that the book ends with the (eventual) publication of A Wrinkle in Time - I had expected to read more of what came after that. There is a short afterword with some explanations (and admissions of minor name changes to avoid confusion.)

That L'Engle eventually became a well-known and beloved author, overcoming the biases against women in the time she was growing up, is a testament to her talent and determination. The recent movie is being held up as an example to young girls, but I would say that this book also serves that purpose.
" said.

"Fans of Madeleine L'Engle's classic A Wrinkle in Time will surely want to read this biography written by her granddaughters. But even if someone isn't a fan of that book or her other work, there is much material here that will inspire middle grade readers, its intended audience, to continue to grow and take risks. For budding writers, the book provides insight into the writing process used by L'Engle. The fact that the authors had access to journal entries, postcards, letters, and other realia from L'Engle's writing career and formative years lends the narrative an insider's perspective, and readers may draw comfort from reading about L'Engle's own struggles with loneliness, acceptance, being considered different from her peers, her worries about her height, her concerns about financial stability, and how she tried to balance writing with rearing a family. The book even contains her responses to several of the rejections that A Wrinkle in Time received when it was submitted to publishers under a different title. Although L'Engle's genius, originality, and talent as a writer all shine through on the book's pages, the authors have been careful to include anecdotes or personal reflections from L'Engle on her own inadequacies. Since the book stops just as Wrinkle in Time is being published, I wonder if a continuation might be planned so that readers might have a glimpse of how the author dealt with such surprisingly and overwhelming success. I loved all the photographs and writing in L'Engle's own handwriting that are shared here. There is even a photograph of her receiving the Newbery Medal. Middle grade teachers might want to consider this book for their libraries since it shows quite clearly the birth of a young author and how she drew on her own life experiences for inspiration, even later in life, a trip out West that provided some inspiration for A Wrinkle in Time. " said.

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