A Wind in the Door (Time Quintet Series #2)by Madeleine L'Engle
It is November. When Meg comes home from school, Charles Wallace tells her he saw dragons in the twin's vegetable garden. That night Meg, Calvin and C.W. go to the vegetable garden to meet the Teacher (Blajeny) who explains that what they are seeing isn't a dragon at all, but a cherubim named Proginoskes. It turns out that C.W. is ill and that Blajeny and
It is November. When Meg comes home from school, Charles Wallace tells her he saw dragons in the twin's vegetable garden. That night Meg, Calvin and C.W. go to the vegetable garden to meet the Teacher (Blajeny) who explains that what they are seeing isn't a dragon at all, but a cherubim named Proginoskes. It turns out that C.W. is ill and that Blajeny and Proginoskes are there to make him well – by making him well, they will keep the balance of the universe in check and save it from the evil Echthros.
Meg, Calvin and Mr. Jenkins (grade school principal) must travel inside C.W. to have this battle and save Charles' life as well as the balance of the universe.
Read an Excerpt
A Wind in the Door
By Madeleine L'engle
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 1973 Crosswicks, Ltd.
All rights reserved.
Charles Wallace's Dragons
"There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden."
Meg Murry took her head out of the refrigerator where she had been foraging for an after-school snack, and looked at her six-year-old brother. "What?"
"There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden. Or there were. They've moved to the north pasture now."
Meg, not replying — it did not do to answer Charles Wallace too quickly when he said something odd — returned to the refrigerator. "I suppose I'll have lettuce and tomato as usual. I was looking for something new and different and exciting."
"Meg, did you hear me?"
"Yes, I heard you. I think I'll have liverwurst and cream cheese." She took her sandwich materials and a bottle of milk and set them out on the kitchen table. Charles Wallace waited patiently. She looked at him, scowling with an anxiety she did not like to admit to herself, at the fresh rips in the knees of his blue jeans, the streaks of dirt grained deep in his shirt, a darkening bruise on the cheekbone under his left eye. "Okay, did the big boys jump you in the schoolyard this time, or when you got off the bus?"
"Meg, you aren't listening to me."
"I happen to care that you've been in school for two months now and not a single week has gone by that you haven't been roughed up. If you've been talking about dragons in the garden or wherever they are, I suppose that explains it."
"I haven't. Don't underestimate me. I didn't see them till I got home."
Whenever Meg was deeply worried she got angry. Now she scowled at her sandwich. "I wish Mother'd get the spreadable kind of cream cheese. This stuff keeps going right through the bread. Where is she?"
"In the lab, doing an experiment. She said to tell you she wouldn't be long."
"He got a call from L.A., and he's gone to Washington for a couple of days."
Like the dragons in the garden, their father's visits to the White House were something best not talked about at school. Unlike the dragons, these visits were real.
Charles Wallace picked up Meg's doubting. "But I saw them, Meg, the dragons. Eat your sandwich and come see."
"Where're Sandy and Dennys?"
"Soccer practice. I haven't told anybody but you." Suddenly sounding forlorn, younger than his six years, he said, "I wish the high-school bus got home earlier. I've been waiting and waiting for you."
Meg returned to the refrigerator to get lettuce. This was a cover for some rapid thinking, although she couldn't count on Charles Wallace not picking up her thoughts, as he had picked up her doubts about the dragons. What he had actually seen she could not begin to guess. That he had seen something, something unusual, she was positive.
Charles Wallace silently watched her finish making the sandwich, carefully aligning the slices of bread and cutting it in precise sections. "I wonder if Mr. Jenkins has ever seen a dragon?"
Mr. Jenkins was the principal of the village school, and Meg had had her own troubles with him. She had small hope that Mr. Jenkins would care what happened to Charles Wallace, or that he would be willing to interfere in what he called "the normal procedures of democracy." "Mr. Jenkins believes in the law of the jungle." She spoke through a mouthful. "Aren't there dragons in the jungle?"
Charles Wallace finished his glass of milk. "No wonder you always flunk social studies. Eat your sandwich and stop stalling. Let's go and see if they're still there."
They crossed the lawn, followed by Fortinbras, the large, black, almost-Labrador dog, happily sniffing and snuffling at the rusty autumnal remains of the rhubarb patch. Meg tripped over a wire hoop from the croquet set, and made an annoyed grunt, mostly at herself, because she had put the wickets and mallets away after the last game, and forgotten this one. A low wall of barberry separated the croquet lawn from Sandy's and Dennys's vegetable garden. Fortinbras leaped over the barberry, and Meg called automatically, "Not in the garden, Fort," and the big dog backed out, between rows of cabbage and broccoli. The twins were justly proud of their organic produce, which they sold around the village for pocket money.
"A dragon could make a real mess of this garden," Charles Wallace said, and led Meg through rows of vegetables. "I think he realized that, because suddenly he sort of wasn't there."
"What do you mean, he sort of wasn't there? Either he was there, or he wasn't."
"He was there, and then when I went to look closer, he wasn't there, and I followed him — not really him, because he was much faster than I, and I only followed where he'd been. And he went to the big glacial rocks in the north pasture."
Meg looked scowlingly at the garden. Never before had Charles Wallace sounded as implausible as this.
He said, "Come on," and moved past the tall sheaves of corn, which had only a few scraggly ears left. Beyond the corn the sunflowers caught the slanting rays of the afternoon sun, their golden faces reflecting brilliance.
"Charles, are you all right?" Meg asked. It was not like Charles to lose touch with reality. Then she noticed that he was breathing heavily, as if he had been running, though they had not been walking rapidly. His face was pale, his forehead beaded with perspiration, as though from overexertion.
She did not like the way he looked, and she turned her mind back to the unlikely tale of dragons, picking her way around the luxuriant pumpkin vines. "Charles, when did you see these — dragons?"
"A dollop of dragons, a drove of dragons, a drive of dragons," Charles Wallace panted. "After I got home from school. Mother was all upset because I looked such a mess. My nose was still very bloody."
"I get upset, too."
"Meg, Mother thinks it's more than the bigger kids punching me."
Charles Wallace scrambled with unusual clumsiness and difficulty over the low stone wall which edged the orchard. "I get out of breath."
Meg said sharply, "Why? What did Mother say?"
Charles walked slowly through the high grass in the orchard. "She hasn't said. But it's sort of like radar blipping at me."
Meg walked beside him. She was tall for her age, and Charles Wallace small for his. "There are times when I wish you didn't pick up radar signals quite so well."
"I can't help it, Meg. I don't try to. It just happens. Mother thinks something is wrong with me."
"But what?" she almost shouted.
Charles Wallace spoke very quietly. "I don't know. Something bad enough so her worry blips loud and clear. And I know there's something wrong. Just to walk across the orchard like this is an effort, and it shouldn't be. It never has been before."
"When did this start?" she asked sharply. "You were all right last weekend when we went walking in the woods."
"I know. I've been sort of tired all autumn, but it's been worse this week, and much worse today than it was yesterday. Hey, Meg! Stop blaming yourself because you didn't notice."
She had been doing precisely that. Her hands felt cold with panic. She tried to push her fear away, because Charles Wallace could read his sister even more easily than he could their mother. He picked up a windfall apple, looked it over for worms, and bit into it. His end-of-summer tan could not disguise his extreme pallor, nor his shadowed eyes; why hadn't she noticed this? Because she hadn't wanted to. It was easier to blame Charles Wallace's paleness and lethargy on his problems at school.
"Why doesn't Mother have a doctor look at you, then? I mean a real doctor?"
"Why didn't you tell me before?"
"I was more interested in dragons."
"It was before you got home from school. Dr. Louise came to have lunch with Mother — she does, quite often, anyhow —"
"I know. Go on."
"So when I got home from school she went over me, from top to toe."
"What did she say?"
"Nothing much. I can't read her the way I can read Mother. She's like a little bird, twittering away, and all the time you know that sharp mind of hers is thinking along on another level. She's very good at blocking me. All I could gather was that she thought Mother might be right about — about whatever it is. And she'd keep in touch."
They had finished crossing the orchard and Charles Wallace climbed up onto the wall again and stood there, looking across an unused pasture where there were two large outcroppings of glacial rock. "They're gone," he said. "My dragons are gone."
Meg stood on the wall beside him. There was nothing to see except the wind blowing through the sun bleached grasses, and the two tall rocks, turning purple in the autumn evening light. "Are you sure it wasn't just the rocks or shadows or something?"
"Do rocks or shadows look like dragons?"
"No, but —"
"Meg, they were right by the rocks, all sort of clustered together, wings, it looked like hundreds of wings, and eyes opening and shutting between the wings, and some smoke and little spurts of fire, and I warned them not to set the pasture on fire."
"How did you warn them?"
"I spoke to them. In a loud voice. And the flames stopped."
"Did you go close?"
"It didn't seem wise. I stayed here on the wall and watched for a long time. They kept folding and unfolding wings and sort of winking all those eyes at me, and then they all seemed to huddle together and go to sleep, so I went home to wait for you. Meg! You don't believe me."
She asked, flatly, "Well, where have they gone?"
"You've never not believed me before."
She said, carefully, "It's not that I don't believe you." In a strange way she did believe him. Not, perhaps, that he had seen actual dragons — but Charles Wallace had never before tended to mix fact and fancy. Never before had he separated reality and illusion in such a marked way. She looked at him, saw that he had a sweatshirt on over his grubby shirt. She held her arms about herself, shivered, and said — although she was quite warm enough — "I think I'll go back to the house and get a cardigan. Wait here. I won't be long. If the dragons come back —"
"I think they will come back."
"Then keep them here for me. I'll be as fast as I can."
Charles Wallace looked at her levelly. "I don't think Mother wants to be interrupted right now."
"I'm not going to interrupt her. I'm just going to get my cardigan."
"Okay, Meg," he sighed.
She left him sitting on the wall, looking at the two great glacial deposits, waiting for dragons, or whatever it was he thought he'd seen. All right, he knew that she was going back to the house to talk to their mother, but as long as she didn't admit it out loud she felt that she managed to keep at least a little of her worry from him.
She burst into the laboratory.
Her mother was sitting on a tall lab stool, not looking into the microscope in front of her, not writing on the clipboard, which rested on her knee, just sitting thoughtfully. "What is it, Meg?"
She started to blurt out Charles Wallace's talk of dragons, and that he had never had delusions before, but since Charles Wallace himself had not mentioned them to their mother, it seemed like a betrayal for her to do so, though his silence about the dragons may have been because of the presence of Dr. Louise.
Her mother repeated, a little impatiently, "What is it, Meg?"
"What's wrong with Charles Wallace?"
Mrs. Murry put the clipboard down on the lab counter beside the microscope. "He had some trouble with the bigger boys again in school today."
"That's not what I mean."
"What do you mean, Meg?"
"He said you had Dr. Colubra here for him."
"Louise was here for lunch, so I thought she might as well have a look at him."
"And what, Meg?"
"What's the matter with him?"
"We don't know, Meg. Not yet, at any rate."
"Charles says you're worried about him."
"I am. Aren't you?"
"Yes. But I thought it was all school. And now I don't think it is. He got out of breath just walking across the orchard. And he's too pale. And he imagines things. And he looks — I don't like the way he looks."
"Neither do I."
"What is it? What's wrong? Is it a virus or something?"
Mrs. Murry hesitated. "I'm not sure."
"Mother, please, if there's anything really wrong with Charles I'm old enough to know."
"I don't know whether there is or not. Neither does Louise. When we find out anything definite, I'll tell you. I promise you that."
"You're not hiding anything?"
"Meg, there's no use talking about something I'm not sure of. I should know in a few days."
Meg twisted her hands together nervously. "You really are worried."
Mrs. Murry smiled. "Mothers tend to be. Where is he now?"
"Oh — I left him on the stone wall — I said I was coming in for a cardigan. I've got to run back or he'll think —" Without finishing she rushed out of the lab, grabbed a cardigan from one of the hooks in the pantry, and ran across the lawn.
When she reached Charles Wallace he was sitting on the wall, just as she had left him. There was no sign of dragons.
She had not really expected that there would be. Nevertheless, she was disappointed, her anxiety about Charles subtly deepened.
"What did Mother say?" he asked.
His large, deep-seeing blue eyes focused on her. "She didn't mention mitochondria? Or farandolae?"
"Hunh? Why should she?"
Charles Wallace kicked the rubber heels of his sneakers against the wall, looked at Meg, did not answer.
Meg persisted, "Why should Mother mention mitochondria? Isn't that — talking about them — what got you into trouble your very first day in school?"
"I am extremely interested in them. And in dragons. I'm sorry they haven't come back yet." He was very definitely changing the subject. "Let's wait a while longer for them. I'd rather face a few dragons any day than the kids in the schoolyard. Thank you for going to see Mr. Jenkins on my behalf, Meg."
That was supposed to be a deep, dark secret. "How did you know?"
Meg hunched her shoulders. "Not that it did any good." She had not really had much hope that it would. Mr. Jenkins had been, for several years, the principal of the large regional high school. When he was moved, just that September, to the small grade school in the village, the official story was that the school needed upgrading, and Mr. Jenkins was the only man to do the job. The rumor was that he hadn't been able to handle the wilder element over at Regional. Meg had her doubts whether or not he could handle anybody, anywhere. And she was completely convinced that he would neither understand nor like Charles Wallace.
The morning that Charles Wallace set off for first grade, Meg was far more nervous than he was. She could not concentrate during her last classes, and when school was finally over and she climbed the hill to the house and found him with a puffed and bleeding upper lip and a scrape across his cheek, she had a sinking feeling of inevitability combined with a burning rage. Charles Wallace had always been thought of by the villagers as peculiar, and probably not quite all there. Meg, picking up mail at the post office, or eggs at the store, overheard snatches of conversations: "That littlest Murry kid is a weird one." "I hear clever people often have dumb kids." "They say he can't even talk."
It would have been easier if Charles Wallace had actually been stupid. But he wasn't, and he wasn't very good at pretending that he didn't know more than the other six-year-olds in his class. His vocabulary itself was against him; he had, in fact, not started talking until late, but then it was in complete sentences, with none of the baby preliminaries. In front of strangers he still seldom spoke at all — one of the reasons he was thought dumb; and suddenly there he was in first grade and talking like — like his parents, or his sister. Sandy and Dennys got along with everybody. It wasn't surprising that Charles was resented; everybody expected him to be backward, and he talked like a dictionary.
"Now, children" — the first-grade teacher smiled brightly at the gaggle of new first-graders staring at her that first morning — "I want each one of you to tell me something about yourselves." She looked at her list. "Let's start with Mary Agnes. Which one is Mary Agnes?"
A small girl with one missing front tooth, and straw-colored hair pulled tightly into pigtails, announced that she lived on a farm and that she had her own chickens; that morning there had been seventeen eggs.
"Very good, Mary Agnes. Now, let's see, how about you, Richard — are you called Dicky?"
A fat little boy stood up, bobbing and grinning.
"What have you got to tell us?"
"Boys ain't like girls," Dicky said. "Boys is made different, see, like —"
"That's fine, Dicky, just fine. We'll learn more about that later. Now, Albertina, suppose you tell us something."
Albertina was repeating first grade. She stood up, almost a head taller than the others, and announced proudly, "Our bodies are made up of bones and skinses and muskle and blood cells and stuff like that."
"Very good, Albertina. Isn't that good, class? I can see we're going to have a group of real scientists this year. Let's all clap for Albertina, shall we? Now, uh" — she looked down at her list again — "Charles Wallace. Are you called Charlie?"
Excerpted from A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'engle. Copyright © 1973 Crosswicks, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
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.
- Date of Birth:
- January 12, 1918
- Date of Death:
- September 6, 2007
- Place of Birth:
- New York, NY
- Place of Death:
- Litchfield, CT
- Smith College, 1941
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Madeline L'engle keeps you spellbound with this fantastic sequel to A Wrinkle in Time. Many new characters are introduced, and discoveries are made about the already familiar ones. This is one of the best books that I have ever read, and I have immensely enjoyed reading this book time and time again.
I first read A Wrinkle in Time when I was in 5th grade and loved it. At the time I don’t think I knew it was the first in a series. Now in my mid-thirties I am finally reading the rest. L’Engle weaves another fantastic tale with imagination and science. The balance of the universe is at state, stars are disappearing, and something is wrong with Charles Wallace’s farandolae. I feel like a kid again, getting sucked into L’Engle’s fabricated worlds and found it hard to put down.
This is an exciting book that is action packed and has twists and turns. When I started it I couldn't put it down because its so fantastic!
If you want my opinion(I guess it doesn't matter does it?)I actually liked THIS book A LOT better than A Wrinkle in time!I'm SURE that L'Engle was at her absolute,and foremost most creative point in her writing carrer,it's a book about fantasy worlds beneath the skin,where pharandalae and mitochondria,along with the help of meg,calvin,and surprisingly Mr.Jenkins(meg's princapal)work together to save Charles Wallace ,but will it work?find out for yourself when you read this epic story!
This is truly a rich book filled with a spell binding tale and an excellent end it defenetly is something I would recomend to all and is appropriet for all ages it will keep you entertained and even though I'm 11 I'm sudgesting to eneyone to read this or any other book in the wrinkle of time series I truly love the science fiction that wraps around this wonderful book.
A Wind in the door is a rather average book overall, but the story line is far from average, very few books combine sickness, incredible creatures, and an adventure unlike any other.To say the least, Charles Wallace is a quite unordinary six year old. If his discovery of dragons isn't peculiar enough, the illness that follows will nearly kill him. Join Meg, Charles's older sister, Calvin, Meg's friend, Proginoskes, the cherubim, and Blajeny, their teacher as they risk their lives to save Charles, the stars, and the universe from an attack of the Echthroi. Meg will learn a great lesson about the importance of love and sacrifice.The book, based on the lexile measure should have been excessively easy to read, but the vocabulary and imagination required to understand the book is almost overwhelming. Ignore your frustration and you will enjoy the book. This is a pretty good book, it isn't my favorite, but I have to give Madeleine L'Engle credit, she does know how to make you think.Science fiction goo rues will love this adventures book of love, friendship and a sister's ability to tend to her brother's needs.
¿There are dragons in the twin¿s vegetable garden.¿ A Wind in the Door, written by Madeline L¿Engle, is the second book in the Time series quintet. Meg Murry¿s youngest brother Charles Wallaces believes he has found a drive of dragons in his older brothers¿ vegetable garden, but the truth is bigger than he could imagine. There is a threat closing in on Charles Wallaces. New enemies whose goal is to completely erase everything from existence. Charles Walles near death, now Meg Murry, her best friend Calvin, her old school teacher, and her now found cherubim friend must save him and his fondolia. This book is great for all ages and is perfect for sci-fi lovers. Madeline L¿Engle focused this book for children but is good for any one of any age. This book contains many unrealistic things and can often get confusing because they say there is no word for what they are talking about in the human language, though this doesn¿t take away from the overall understanding of the book. The author puts a lot off voice and emotions into the characters. Because of this it is easy to tell where they stand in the matter at hand, and how they are feeling. Many of the characters in this book aren¿t human making this book all the more interesting. This book will change your out look on unrealistic concepts such as life on other worlds, changing your self into other things, and time travel. This book has a strong moral to it. Anyone will find this book to be a good read and to be very unique. If you are looking for a good book, A Wind in the Door is a great. All the books in this series are A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and A Acceptable Time.
This was a good book. I think it could have had a bit more detail and it ciuld have been longer. Overall, I think it was an awesome book
These days my mother has been telling me to read more so my vocabulary would expand. Hence, I started to read many classics, but when I came to A Wrinkle in Time series I could not help but just do nothing but read. Some sectiins can be slightly confusing and I did have to look up many words but overall the story was fantastic! It is so amazing how a sister like Meg shows so much love and compassion for her brother Charles Wallace.
A Wind in the Door is an amazing book. It’s got these twists and suspension that leaves you wanting to never stop reading it. It takes you on a journey through time but always stays in one constant location. The author gives you hints and clues to make you want to assume an ending. A detail in the book I loved is how you watched the name of Madoc grow gradually to Maddox and link to Mad dog. Something I liked about the way this book was set up was who the author chose to be her narrator and made the story so it was Meg (the narrator) seeing everything that would happen as if she went on the journey herself. I believe the author did a very good job on keeping the whole book out of first person when the action was with Charles Wallace. I know if I were to be the author I would have made Charles Wallace be the narrator because that’s who most of the book’s action was with. It was a wise decision to make Meg the narrator and the “star” because then it could tie the action between the present and past together. In the book it does talk about the act of kything, which is basically communicating through the mind. In this specific book it doesn’t go too far into definition but if you ever get the chance to read the set you’ll find out it does go deeper in definition in an earlier book. This is an awesome book and I do highly recommend it to everyone but maybe more along the lines of sixth grade and up.
I can' t even explain how good this book is. I would definetly recommend it. But remember, this is my opinion so you will have to read it for yourself to see if you like it. BUT I TOTALLY LOOOVED IIIIT!!! Though the kything is a little confusing and the Ecthroi are a liitle scary so i would recommend it for grades six and up.
I have read Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time Series many times over-- my favorite is 'A Wind in the Door.' The characters are easy to fall in love with for different reasons, the plots are a believable balance of science, fantasy, imagination and reality, and L'Engle does a superb job of commenting on some of the largest themes in our world today-- power, love, evil, family, and learning-- in a compelling, enjoyable read. Great for youth and adults... I highly recommend.
I read this book and I found that I couldn't put it down. I stayed up past midnight reading it. It was full of suspense and action. I thought it was one of my favorite books!
This book is one of my very favorite books. I'd have to say it isn't the best book I've read, but I did enjoy it alot more than I thought I would. There are only two ways for you to like this book, 1: if you like health and science, 2, or if you're a book worm.
Many people don't like this book and the others because they are confusing. Thi seris is meant fir those who are deeper thinkers,have an above average intellegencd, and can comprehend what is not directaly written.
It was like I was reading the regular book. Great.
This is an excellent series that has been around for a long time. I am glad it is available for my children. My 3rd and 2nd grader (advanced readers) love the books. The characters are interesting, and the subject matter lends itself to discussion.
Along with A Wrinkle in Time, this book is one of my many favorites. It never leaves you bored as do some books and it tends to keep you reading when you know you should be getting to bed. I read it and loved it, but remember, this book is habit-forming for a good reader.
I am only half way through this book and I like it, but I do not reccomend it for anyone under eleven because the plot can be difficult to understand in some parts. Also, the scientific words such as farandolae might become confusing. Even though, it is a good book for someone who likes to read.
Hey! You are reading it! Haha. Get it?
I read theese books in like 4th grade. I really liked them but i did not understand one word of them. That was two years ago. Still don't get them. Still like them.
I never knew the wrinkle in time was its own series and im glad i do now i will definitely be reading the rest of the series
I received "A Wrinkle in Time" as a birthday gift when I was a child. Have to say it was my first foray in SF/F & I loved it. Never knew there were other books in the seires. So glad I found this. Really enjoyed the continuation. Can't wait to read the 3rd one.
I LOVE THIS BOOK :) :)