by Madeleine L'Engle
Meg Murry, an ugly duckling and social outcast, and her five-year-old brother Charles Wallace, a super-genius with some kind of empathic power, live in a small town with their mother. Their long-absent father is a source of town gossip. When Meg meets Calvin, another “strange” child, and the eerie “witches” Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit, the three children tesseract across space and time to find their father, imprisoned by the evil IT on a faraway planet.
It’s a very strange novel, an allegory about the problem of evil and the grace of God wrapped in social and science fiction. It won the Newbery, and probably deservedly so for its novelty and depth of imagination at least. I can see how it would resonate deeply with a shy, introspective, smart child. For me, it was a bit too quasi-mystical (Mrs. Whatsit becoming a male winged centaur on Uriel? Wha?), but fine reading overall, with a good resolution.