Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? [NOOK Book]


"Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?" is Madeleine L'Engle's spirited defense of the responsibility of children's literature to confront difficult questions, as she did in all her work, particularly her masterpiece A Wrinkle in Time. This e-book contains the text of her famous speech as well as her introduction to the twenty-fifth anniversary of A Wrinkle in Time and a facsimile of a chapter from the ...
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Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?

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"Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?" is Madeleine L'Engle's spirited defense of the responsibility of children's literature to confront difficult questions, as she did in all her work, particularly her masterpiece A Wrinkle in Time. This e-book contains the text of her famous speech as well as her introduction to the twenty-fifth anniversary of A Wrinkle in Time and a facsimile of a chapter from the original manuscript with Madeleine’s notations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466802704
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 287,647
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • File size: 831 KB

Meet the Author

Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007) was the Newbery Medal-winning author of more than 60 books, including the much-loved A Wrinkle in Time. Born in 1918, L’Engle grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina and Massachusetts.  Her father was a reporter and her mother had studied to be a pianist, and their house was always full of musicians and theater people. L’Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, then returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with a play, she wrote her first book, The Small Rain, originally published in 1945. She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in The Cherry Orchard.  Upon becoming Mrs. Franklin, L’Engle gave up the stage in favor of the typewriter. In the years her three children were growing up, she wrote four more novels. Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, and the family moved to western Connecticut and for ten years ran a general store. Her book Meet the Austins, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book of 1960, was based on this experience.  Her science fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal. Two companion novels, A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (a Newbery Honor book), complete what has come to be known as The Time Trilogy, a series that continues to grow in popularity with a new generation of readers. Her 1980 book A Ring of Endless Light won the Newbery Honor. L’Engle passed away in 2007 in Litchfield, Connecticut.


Madeleine L'Engle Camp was born in New York City and educated in boarding schools in Switzerland and across the United States. A shy, withdrawn child with few friends, she retreated into writing at an early age. She attended Smith College, graduating summa cum laude in 1941. After college, she worked in the New York theatre, where she met her future husband, Hugh Franklin. (Later she would say that they "met in The Cherry Orchard and married during The Joyous Season.") Her first book, The Small Rain (1945), was completed while she was still working as an actress.

After the birth of their first child, Madeleine and her husband moved to rural Connecticut to run a small general store; but in 1959, they returned to New York City with their three children so Hugh Franklin could resume his acting career (For many years, he played Dr. Charles Tyler on the popular television soap opera All My Children.) Although Madeleine wrote steadily during this period, few of her books were published. Then, in 1960, she released her first children's story, Meet the Austins. An affectionate portrait of a close-knit family, the book was named an ALA Notable Children's Book of the year and spawned several bestselling sequels.

Completed in 1960, L'Engle's science fiction YA classic A Wrinkle in Time was rejected by more than two dozen publishers before Farrar, Straus and Giroux finally released it in 1962. Elegant, imaginative, and filled with complex moral themes, the acclaimed Newbery Medal winner tells the story of Meg Murry, a young girl who travels through time with her psychically gifted younger brother to rescue their scientist father from a planet controlled by an evil entity known as the Dark Thing. Throughout her career, L'Engle would return to the Murry family three more times, in A Wind in the Door (1973), A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978), and Many Waters (1986). The Time Quartet, as these four books have come to be called, weaves together elements of theology and quantum physics often assumed to be far too esoteric for children to understand. Yet, it became a true classic of juvenalia. L'Engle explained once, "You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children."

In addition to her YA novels, the prolific writer also penned adult fiction, poems, plays, memoirs, and religious meditations. She served as the longtime librarian and writer-in-residence for the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Madeleine L'Engle passed away at a nursing home in Connecticut in 2007.

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    1. Date of Birth:
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Death:
      September 6, 2007
    2. Place of Death:
      Litchfield, CT
    1. Education:
      Smith College, 1941

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Ms. L'Engle has always been a guiding light throughout my life.

    Ms. L'Engle has always been a guiding light throughout my life. Her works are fun and thoughtful without having to resort to expletives that many feel they have to.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Daring Do and the Sleepy Town (2)

    Kiwistreak threw parts like Siesta, their unicorn friend, used to do. Daring Do, in turn, told about her adventures in the jungle. When they reached Villa de Seis, Daring was only describing her third adventure! <br>
    "Here it is," Kiwistreak announced proudly. "Villa de Seis!" <br>
    It was truly small. The houses were made out of pale tan adobe bricks and decorated with red patterns. <br>
    Only two other ponies were outside. One was an elderly green stallion leaning on a cane. The other was a unicorn mare just older than Daring Do. She had her curly orange hair held back in a bun. <br>
    "Hello," she called. "Who's the newcomer, Kiwistreak?" <br>
    "Daring Do!" <br>
    "Really?" The mare gasped. She patted the stallion's hoof and cantered over to Daring. "I've read all your adventures! They're so cool!" Blushing slightly, she added in a more dignified tone, "I'm Sunstone, by the way. The stallion over there is my grandfather, Moss." The stallion waved upon hearing his name. <br>
    "Nice to meet a fan." Daring shook Sunstone's hoof. "Hey, what's the party Kiwistreak's been telling me about?" <br>
    "I got some cacti," Kiwistreak volunteered. Sunstone nodded. <br>
    "I'll take them to Mayor Foxtrot, if you want to explain." <br>
    "Nah, I'll do it. Daring and I will get sidetracked." <br>
    "If you say so." Sunstone hoofed the cacti carefully to Kiwistreak, who winked at Daring amd trotted off down the street. <br>
    "This is a biannual event," Sunstone explained tracing a hoof in the dirt. "Every two years, Villa de Seis hosts a big party in honor of Equestria. Nopony here knows why, though. It's traditional for the centerpieces to be young cacti, which is why your friend Kiwistreak had to harvest some cacti." <br>
    "Okay." Daring nodded. "So, how many ponies live in this town?" <br>
    "Quite a few, actually. There's me and my family- my grandfather, twin brothers, my aunt, my uncle, and my baby cousin. The there's Kiwistreak, Mayor Foxtrot and her husband, the general store clerk, Widow Winter and her triplets, the mason, Wisp Willow, who's expecting, and her husband, Mint. Finally, there's Wisp's mother and father who rarely leave their house right in he center of town." <br>
    "Wow, that's, like, 21 ponies, counting Wisp's foal," Daring deadpanned. Sunstone shrugged. <br>
    "Most ponies actually think there's 10 of us. Of course, Wisp Willow might ask her sister to move in whn the baby arrives- 22!" Daring laughed. <br>
    "Okay, whadaya say I go meet Mayor Foxtrot?" She asked. Sunstone grinned. <br>
    "You'll love her. She used to be an explorer in her younger days," Sunstone announced as she ushered Daring and Moss into a adobe building set against a plateau. The tempature dropped to a cool one that reminded Daring of early fall. <br>
    "Daring Do!" Mayor Foxtrot, sitting at her desk, looked up. "Kiwistreak told me you were here- it's so glad to meet you in pony!" <br>
    "Thank you, Ma'am," Daring replied, tipping her hat. One thing she had learned- always address a leader as "Sir", "Your Highness", or "Ma'am." <br>
    "You'll be staying for our little party?" Mayor Foxtrot inquired. "And call me Foxtrot." <br>
    "Yeah, Foxtrot," Daring replied. "It sounds awesome!" <br>
    "It is!" Foxtrot replied earnestly. "If you'll be staying, the general store is across the street. Rooms can be rented above." <br>
    "Thanks, Foxtrot," Daring replied. "I'll go get settled in." <br>
    "I can help!" Sunstone volunteered, but Daring shook her head. <br>
    "Thanks, but, I'm cool."

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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