Many Waters (Time Quintet Series #4)

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About the Author: Madeleine L'Engle is the author of more than forty-five books for all ages, among them the beloved A Wrinkle in Time, awarded the Newbery Medal; A Ring of Endless Light, a Newbery Honor Book; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, winner of the American Book Award; and the Austin family series of which Troubling a Star is the fifth book. L'Engle was named the 1998 recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards ...

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About the Author: Madeleine L'Engle is the author of more than forty-five books for all ages, among them the beloved A Wrinkle in Time, awarded the Newbery Medal; A Ring of Endless Light, a Newbery Honor Book; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, winner of the American Book Award; and the Austin family series of which Troubling a Star is the fifth book. L'Engle was named the 1998 recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards award, honoring her lifetime contribution in writing for teens.

Ms. L'Engle was born in 1918 in New York City, late in her parents' lives, an only child growing up in an adult world. Her father was a journalist who had been a foreign correspondent, and although he suffered from mustard gas poisoning in World War I, his work still took him abroad a great deal. Her mother was a musician; the house was filled with her parents' friends: artists, writers, and musicians. "Their lives were very full and they didn't really have time for a child," she says. "So I turned to writing to amuse myself."

When she was 12, Ms. L'Engle moved with her family to the French Alps in search of purer air for her father's lungs. She was sent to an English boarding school --"dreadful," she says. When she was 14, her family returned to America and she went to boarding school once again, Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina--which she loved. When she was 17, her father died.

Ms. L'Engle spent the next four years at Smith College. After graduating cum laude, she and an assortment of friends moved to an apartment in Greenwich Village. "I still wanted to be a writer; I always wanted to be a writer, but Ihad to pay the bills, so I went to work in the theater," she says.

Touring as an actress seems to have been a catalyst for her. She wrote her first book, The Small Rain, while touring with Eva Le Gallienne in Uncle Harry. She met Hugh Franklin, to whom she was married until his death in 1986, while they were rehearsing The Cherry Orchard, and they were married on tour during a run of The Joyous Season, starring Ethel Barrymore.

Ms. L'Engle retired from the stage after her marriage, and the Franklins moved to northwest Connecticut and opened a general store. "The surrounding area was real dairy farmland then, and very rural. Some of the children had never seen books when they began their first year of school," she remembers. The Franklins raised three children--Josephine, Maria, and Bion. Ms. L'Engle's first book in the Austin quintet, Meet the Austins, an ALA Notable Children's Book, has strong parallels with her life in the country. But she says, "I identify with Vicky rather than with Mrs. Austin, since I share all of Vicky's insecurities, enthusiasms, and times of sadness and growth."

When, after a decade in Connecticut, the family returned to New York, Ms. L'Engle rejoiced. "In some ways, I was back in the real world." Mr. Franklin resumed acting, and became well known as Dr. Charles Tyler in the television series All My Children. Two-Part Invention is Ms. L'Engle's touching and critically acclaimed story of their long and loving marriage.

The Time quintet--A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time--are among her most famous books, but it took years to get a publisher to accept A Wrinkle in Time. "Every major publisher turned it down. No one knew what to do with it," she says. When Farrar, Straus & Giroux finally accepted the manuscript, she insisted that they publish it as a children's book. It was the beginning of their children's list."

Today, Ms. L'Engle lives in New York City and Connecticut, writing at home and at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where she is variously the librarian and the writer-in-residence. "It depends from day-to-day on what they want to call me. I do keep the library collection--largely theology, philosophy, a lot of good reference books--open on a volunteer basis."

The fifteen-year-old Murry twins, Sandy and Dennys, are accidentally sent back to a strange Biblical time period, in which mythical beasts roam the desert and a man named Noah is building a boat in preparation for a great flood.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sandy and Dennys, twins and middle children in the Newbery-winning A Wrinkle in Time, are transported to the time just before the Flood. . .This will be enjoyed for its suspense and humor as well as its other levels of meaning." —Pointer, Kirkus Reviews

"L'Engle blends speculative fiction with biblical theology to create another provocative spellbinding tale." —Philadelphia Inquirer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312368579
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Series: Time Quintet Series , #4
  • Edition description: STRIPPABLE
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 80,968
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.58 (h) x 0.96 (d)

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

Read an Excerpt


Virtual particles

and virtual unicorns

A sudden snow shower put an end to hockey practice.

“We can’t even see the puck,” Sandy Murry shouted across the wind. “Let’s go home.” He skated over to the side of the frozen pond, sitting on an already snow-covered rock to take off his skates.

There were calls of agreement from the other skaters. Dennys, Sandy’s twin brother, followed him, snow gathering in his lashes, so that he had to blink in order to see the rock. “Why do we have to live in the highest, coldest, windiest spot in the state?”

Hoots of laughter and shouted goodbyes came from the other boys. “Where else would you want to live?” Dennys was asked.

Snow was sliding icily down the inside of his collar. “Bali. Fiji. Someplace warm.”

One of the boys knotted his skate laces and slung his skates around his neck. “Would you really? With all those tourists?”

“Yeah, and jet-setters crowding the beach.”

“And beautiful people.”

“And litterbugs.”

One by one the other boys drifted off, leaving the twins. “I thought you liked winter,” Sandy said.

“By mid-March, I’m getting tired of it.”

“But you wouldn’t really want to go to some tourists’ paradise, would you?”

“Oh, probably not. Maybe I would have, in the olden days, before the population explosion. I’m famished. Race you home.”

By the time they reached their house, an old white farmhouse about a mile from the village, the snow was beginning to let up, though the wind was still strong. They went in through the garage, past their mother’s lab. Pulling off their windbreakers, they threw them at hooks, and burst into the kitchen.

“Where’s everybody?” Sandy called.

Dennys pointed to a piece of paper held by magnets to the refrigerator door. They both went up to it, to read:



Sandy bared his teeth ferociously. “We’ve never had a cavity.”

Dennys made a similar grimace. “But we have grown. We’re just under six feet.”

“Bet if we were measured today we’d be over.”

Dennys opened the door to the refrigerator. There was half a chicken in an earthenware dish, with a sign:


Sandy pulled out the meat keeper. “Ham all right?”

“Sure. With cheese.”

“And mustard.”

“And sliced olives.”

“And ketchup.”

“And pickles.”

“No tomatoes here. Bet you Meg made herself a BLT.”

“There’s lots of liverwurst. Mother likes that.”


“It’s okay with cream cheese and onion.”

They put their various ingredients on the kitchen counter and cut thick slices of bread fresh from the oven. Dennys peered in to sniff apples slowly baking. Sandy looked over to the kitchen table, where Meg had spread out her books and papers. “She’s taken more than her fair share of the table.”

“She’s in college,” Dennys defended. “We don’t have as much homework as she does.”

“Yeah, and I’d hate that long commute every day.”

“She likes to drive. And at least she gets home early.” Dennys plunked his own books down on the big table.

Sandy stood looking at one of Meg’s open notebooks. “Hey, listen to this. Do you suppose we’ll have this kind of junk when we’re in college? It seems quite evident that there was definite prebiotic existence of protein ancestors of polymers, and that therefore the primary beings were not a-amino acids. I suppose she knows what she’s writing about. I haven’t the foggiest.”

Dennys flipped back a page. “Look at her title. The Million Doller question: the chicken or the egg, amino acids or their polymers. She may be a mathematical genius, but she still can’t spell.”

“You mean, you know what she’s writing about?” Sandy demanded.

“I have a pretty good idea. It’s the kind of thing Mother and Dad argue about at dinner—polymers, virtual particles, quasars, all that stuff.”

Sandy looked at his twin. “You mean, you listen?”

“Sure. Why not? You never know when a little useless knowledge is going to come in handy. Hey, what’s this book? It’s about bubonic plague. I’m the one who wants to be a doctor.”

Sandy glanced over. “It’s history, not medicine, stupe.”

“Hey, why are lawyers never bitten by snakes?” Dennys asked.

“I don’t know. And don’t care.”

“Well, you’re the one who wants to be the lawyer. Come on. Why do lawyers never get bitten by snakes?”

“I give up. Why do lawyers never get bitten by snakes?”

“Professional courtesy.”

Sandy groaned. “Very funny. Ha. Ha.”

Dennys slathered mustard over a thick slice of ham. “When I think about the amount of schooling still ahead of us, I almost lose my appetite.”


“Well, not quite.”

Sandy opened the refrigerator door, looking for something else to pile on his sandwich. “We seem to eat more than the rest of the family put together. Charles Wallace eats like a bird. Well, judging by the amount we spend on bird feed, birds are terrible gluttons. But you know what I mean.”

“At least he’s settling down in school, and the other kids aren’t picking on him the way they used to.”

“He still doesn’t look more than six, but half the time I think he knows more than we do. We’re certainly the ordinary, run-of-the-mill ones in the family.”

“The family can do with some ordinary, run-of-the-mill people. And we’re not exactly dumb. If I’m going to be a doctor and you’re going to be a lawyer, we’ve got to be bright enough for all that education. I’m thirsty.”

Sandy opened the cupboard above the kitchen door. Only a year before, they had been too short to reach it without climbing on a stool. “Where’s the Dutch cocoa? That’s what I want.” Sandy moved various boxes of lentils, barley, kidney beans, cans of tuna and salmon.

“Bet Mother’s got it out in the lab. Let’s go look.” Dennys sliced more ham.

Sandy put a large dill pickle in his mouth. “Let’s finish making the sandwiches first.”

“Food first. Fine.”

With sandwiches an inch or more thick in their hands, and full mouths, they went back out to the pantry and turned into the lab. In the early years of the century, when the house had been part of a working dairy farm, the lab had been used to keep milk, butter, eggs, and there was still a large churn in one corner, which now served to hold a lamp. The work counter with the stone sink functioned as well for holding lab equipment as it had for milk and eggs. There was now a formidable-looking microscope, some strange equipment only their mother understood, and an old-fashioned Bunsen burner, over which, on a homemade tripod, a black kettle was simmering.

Sandy sniffed appreciatively. “Stew.”

“I think we’re supposed to call it boeuf bourguignon.” Dennys reached up to the shelf over the sink and pulled down a square red tin. “Here’s the cocoa. Mother and Dad like it at bedtime.”

“When’s Dad coming home?” Dennys wanted to know.

“Tomorrow night, I think Mother said.”

Sandy, his mouth full, held his hands out to the wood stove. “If we had our driver’s licenses, we could go to the airport to meet him.”

“We’re good drivers already,” Dennys agreed.

Sandy stuffed another large bite of sandwich into his mouth, and left the warmth of the stove to wander to the far corner of the lab, where there was a not-quite-ordinary-looking computer. “How long has Dad had this gizmo here?”

“He put it in last week. Mother wasn’t particularly pleased.”

“Well, it is supposed to be her lab,” Sandy said.

“What’s he programming?” Dennys asked.

“He’s usually pretty good about explaining. Even though I don’t understand most of it. Tessering and red-shifting and space/time continuum and stuff.” Sandy stared at the keyboard, which had eight rather than the usual four ranks of keys. “Half of these symbols are Greek. I mean, literally Greek.”

Dennys, ramming the last of his sandwich into his mouth, peered over his twin’s shoulder. “Well, I more or less get the usual science signs. That looks like Hebrew, there, and that’s Cyrillic. I haven’t the faintest idea what these keys are for.”

Sandy looked down at the lab floor, which consisted of large slabs of stone. There was a thick rug by the sink, and another in front of the shabby leather chair and reading lamp. “I don’t know how Mother stands this place in winter.”

“She dresses like an Eskimo.” Dennys shivered, then put out one finger and tapped on the standard keys of the computer: “TAKE ME SOMEPLACE WARM.”

“Hey, I don’t think we ought to mess with that,” Sandy warned.

“What do you expect? A genie to pop up, like the one in Aladdin and the magic lamp? This is just a computer, for heaven’s sake. It can’t do anything it isn’t programmed to do.”

“Okay, then.” Sandy held his fingers over the keyboard. “A lot of people think computers are alive—I mean, really, sort of like Aladdin’s genie.” He tapped out on the standard keys: “SOMEPLACE WARM AND SPARSELY POPULATED.”

Dennys shouldered him aside, adding: “LOW HUMIDITY.”

Sandy turned away from the odd computer. “Let’s make the cocoa.”

“Sure.” Dennys picked up the red tin, which he had set down on the counter. “Since Mother’s using the Bunsen burner, we’d better go back to the kitchen to make the cocoa.”

“Okay. It’s warmer there, anyhow.”

“I could do with another sandwich. If they’ve gone all the way into town, supper’ll probably be late.”

They left the lab, closing the door behind them. “Hey.” Sandy pointed. “We didn’t see this.” There was a small note taped to the door: EXPERIMENT IN PROGRESS. PLEASE KEEP OUT.

“Uh-oh. Hope we didn’t upset anything.”

“We’d better tell Mother when she gets back.”

“Why didn’t we see that note?”

“We were busy stuffing our faces.”

Dennys crossed the hall and opened the kitchen door and was met with a blast of heat. “Hey!” He tried to step back, but Sandy was on his heels.

“Fire!” Sandy yelled. “Get the fire extinguisher!”

“Too late! We’d better get out and—” Dennys heard the kitchen door slam behind them. “We’ve got to get out—”

Sandy yelled, “I can’t find the fire extinguisher!”

“I can’t find the walls—” Dennys groped through a pervasive mist, his hands touching nothing.

Came a great sonic boom.

Then absolute silence.

Slowly the mist began to clear away, to dissipate.

“Hey!” Sandy’s changing voice cracked and soared. “What’s going on?”

Dennys’s equally cracking voice followed. “Where on earth . . . What’s happened . . .”

“What was that explosion?”


They looked around to see nothing familiar. No kitchen door. No kitchen. No fireplace with its fragrant logs. No table, with its pot of brightly blooming geraniums. No ceiling strung with rows of red peppers and white garlic. No floor with the colorful, braided rugs. They were standing on sand, burning white sand. Above them, the sun was in a sky so hot that it was no longer blue but had a bronze cast. There was nothing but sand and sky from horizon to horizon.

“Is the house all right?” Sandy’s voice shook.

“I don’t think we went into the house at all . . .”

“You don’t think it was on fire?”

“No. I think we opened the door and we were here.”

“What about the mist?”

“And the sonic boom?”

“And what about Dad’s computer?”

“Uh-oh. What’re we going to do?” Dennys’s voice started out in the bass, soared, and cracked to a piercing treble.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 120 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 120 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2009

    Best Book in the Time Quartet!

    This was the best book in the entire Wrinkle in Time Quartet! It was the most interesting and certainly a page-turner. I loved it and if you liked A Wrinkle in Time, you have to read this book as well!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2012


    Wow this book is amazing! The book kept me thinking every time I turned the page and that is what a good book does to you. The characters are amazing and breath taking and they have this thing that pulls you into the story and makes you fell like you lived the story. It truly is amazing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2005


    After I first read this book, it instantly became my favorite in the quartet along with A Wrinkle in Time. I love how the twins finally get to have an adventure since they're the run of the mills in the family. Most of the characters have really good chemistry. There's conflict which keeps you reading on. There are moments while reading when you come across a paragraph and it makes you appreciate life a bit more. That's really how much this book means. The characters grow on you, making them part of your life, in a way. Over all, the book is fantastic, I recommend it to anyone with an imagination.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Some of the sentences in this book were beautifully written, but

    Some of the sentences in this book were beautifully written, but the book on a whole- the characters, the settings, the plot- were all incredibly boring. Instead of telling a very interesting story about two boys that get sent back in time and meet little people and mystical beasts, it's literally a story about two boys who go to the desert by accident and recover from sunburns for a few weeks and also struggle to keep it in their pants. Not much happens at all and it really frustrates me. I couldn't find any clear lesson to be learned from this book, any suspenseful 'omg I have to turn the page what happens' sections, nothing at all. I read this a few weeks ago as a summer assignment for school and now getting to the questions I can't remember half of the characters just by name all because they're so boring. Characters aren't a part of a book you should forget. What a pity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    Warriors den

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Love Sandy and Dennys.

    While I was reading the first three books, I was wondering when they would get thre own book. Here it is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013


    I love this book its amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013



    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013


    She looks at the remains of the camp, charred and destroyed. She thinks about her nightmare.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013


    "Balthier?" Ivy whispers softly. Balthier comes out of a bush. Ivy looks down and a tear falls from her eye. "Why did you do it?" Ivy asks quietly. Balthier looks at her, confused. "Do what?" He asks. "I thought you killed my friend" Ivy replies,confused as well. "Snow? Another cat named Sabueteur or something like that. No wait...I think it was an assasination clan" Balthier says. Ivy says nothing." Did you think about my offer?" He asks. Ivy blushes furiously."N-No" she stammers.
    Balthier pads up to her. "Its alright" he says, soothing her and ridding her of her doubts. Ivy smiles at him, then suddenly looks away."I-I can't do this" she whispers. Ivy walks back to camp slowly.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012


    It makes a hole new veiw of the story of noah!!! its one of my favorites! Great read! ~Your one and only ~~Marti merten~~?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012


    I love these series. I would definently buy this. I looove sandy and dennis. meg and calvin arent the only ones in the family with secrets!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    I love this one.

    It is for a Young Adult. You need a little bit of Bible knowledge. If you do, it will give new way to look at Noh's ark.

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    I became a fan of Medelein L’Engle in 5th grade when A Wri

    I became a fan of Medelein L’Engle in 5th grade when A Wrinkle in Time was assigned. It was only within the last couple years I discovered there was more to the series. I thought A Wing in the Door was just as wonderful as A Wrinkle in Time. However, Many Waters and A Swiftly Tilting Planet were written in a different order with a different style and voice.
    Many Waters stars Sandy and Dennys—the twin middle siblings of Meg and Charles Wallace. As they are trying to fix a snack, the teenage twins go into the parents’ lab, accidentally trigger an experiment in progress, and find themselves in the pre-flood time of Noah.
    While L’Engle uses an interesting perspective of Seraphim and Nephilim—the sons of God who intermingled with humans—she also deals with sex and puberty in language that is more appropriate for young adults. A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the door, and possibly A Swiftly Tilting Planet could be recommended for middle graders, but definitely not Many Waters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Nurse Joy

    *she falls on the floor asleep from no Trainers coming in*

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Love it

    Best book ever i dont know how you do it madam lengle its just i love your work

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Love this book

    This author has done it again, taking the reader on an amazing adventure! I love these books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012


    The order of the books is wrinkle in time wind in the door a swiftly tilting planet many waters and an acceptable time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

    Love this Story.

    Its because of this story and the bible verse used that I use as part of the foundation in my marriage. "Many waters cannot quench Love, neither can the floods drown it."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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