A WRINKLE IN TIME was one of my Top 10 favorite reads as a child – and remains an all time favorite read of mine. So when I was invited to be a part of the tour to help celebrate the upcoming release of the film – which I cannot wait to see! – of course I had to participate.

And I was equal parts excited and anxious to read BECOMING MADELEINE, a biography about the author, written by her granddaughters. Excited because this would be the first book about Madeleine L’Engle I’d ever read and I’d finally get to know more about this author whose writing was such a huge part of my young life. Anxious because over the years many authors I’d worshipped had fallen from pedestals when I’d learned more about them and I didn’t want to learn that she’d despised her characters or wished she’d never created them at all.

But I settled in to read with a cup of tea for comfort (just in case) and with reading glasses – that weren’t a necessity way back when I first read A WRINKLE IN TIME, A WIND IN THE DOOR or A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET. And I completely fell in love with this book – though I wished I had a box of tissue as that epilogue had me in tears.

If you’d like to know more about what I thought about this lovingly written “story,” my review follows below. If you’d like to visit the other stops on the tour, the schedule follows at the bottom of this post.

And if you’d like to join the conversation on social media, be sure to tag #AWrinkleInTime.


Add to Goodreads

Authors: Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy
Release date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 176
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook



This middle-grade biography explores the life and works of Madeleine L’Engle —written by her granddaughters.

This elegant and insightful biography of Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007) was written by her granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy. Using never-before-seen archival materials that include photographs, poems, letters, and journal entries from when Madeleine was a child until just after the publication of her classic, A Wrinkle in Time, her granddaughters weave together an in-depth and unique view of the famous writer. It is a story of overcoming obstacles—a lonely childhood, financial insecurity, and countless rejections of her writing—and eventual triumph. Becoming Madeleine will speak not only to fans of the icon’s work, but also to anyone interested in writing.


Note: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A finished eCopy was purchased for my Kindle.

The Review

Filled with pictures and journal entries and correspondence to and from Madeleine L’Engle, BECOMING MADELEINE gives readers an intimate peek at this award-winning author’s life. It has just the right amount of depth to make the read substantial and interesting without being weighty, reveals more than enough about Madeleine to learn who she was at various points in her life, and includes a heartfelt and heartrending introduction and conclusion by the authors – Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy, L’Engle’s granddaughters.

It is a captivating and delightful and inspirational read that shares pivotal moments in Madeleine’s life up to the moment when A WRINKLE IN TIME was accepted for publication. It tells of a girl who always had a passion for writing, who was determined and tenacious and ambitious, who was often socially awkward but who thrived nevertheless, who was confident yet shy, who was brave yet fearful, who was by no means perfect but who strived to be better, and who understood that who she was encompassed every version of herself.

BECOMING MADELEINE’s authors have penned a loving and respectful and incredibly endearing telling of the story of Madeleine’s life. They left in many of the hardships the author faced as a child, young, and not-so-young, adult. They shared her mistakes, her successes, her failures, her disappointments, her setbacks. They showed her journey as a writer – from poet, to novelist, to playwright, to published author – as well as the side trips that took her away from and brought her back to writing. And they allowed a glimpse into some of the more personal aspects of her and her family’s life.

Madeleine L’Engle’s biography can be enjoyed by readers of many ages. It is a quick read, that flows beautifully, even interspersed with images and other lovely distractions. It has more of a story-like quality than that of a typical biography, allowing readers to easily connect with and become charmed by Madeleine. It promises a happy ending, just like Madeline L’Engle wanted for her stories – although its epilogue, divulging just how cherished L’Engle was by her granddaughters, will tug on the heartstrings.

Whether a new or lifelong fan of author Madeleine L’Engle, BECOMING MADELEINE is a must, must, must.

The Rating

About the Authors

Charlotte Jones Voiklis is Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter and executor of her estate. She has written a biography, Becoming Madeleine, for middle grade readers with her sister, Léna Roy, coming out in February 2018. She wrote the afterword to the 50th Anniversary edition of A Wrinkle in Time, has also written and spoken of her grandmother’s work to a variety of audiences. With a PhD in Comparative Literature, Charlotte’s work experience includes teaching, fundraising, communications, and grant making. She is also a volunteer mediator in the New York City court system.


Léna Roy published her first novel, Edges (FSG), in late 2010. She is the Regional Manager for Writopia Lab in Westchester and Connecticut, and her writing was featured in the essay collection for middle school kids and their teachers Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Essays to Devour: Your Favorite Authors Take on the Dreaded Essay Assignment. She lives in New York.


The Tour Schedule

My Reading Pile #56

It was a nice quiet week at the mailbox, which is good, because it has given me a chance to pack up and send out a few more books and clear some space on my shelves. I am expecting quite a few books from a trade next week, so I need the room.

I am still trying really hard to go on a trading ban for just a bit. It’s just so tough to follow through. But for now….

As I am sharing what I received in my mailbox this week, I’m giving credit to Kristi at The Story Siren who came up with the idea of sharing what’s in her mailbox each week.

I received a copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa from a trade with Alex of Electrifying Reviews. It was an awesome surprise as I hadn’t realized it was on its way. Yes, I had one in my mailbox last week. This is the second of three copies I traded for. Oops.

I also received a signed copy of Scorched Skies by Samantha Young along with two gorgeous signed bookmarks. I LOVE the cover for this book, which is designed by the amazing PhatPuppy Art. It is just as amazing as the Fire Spirits series by the author, and this sequel is one I’ve been anxiously awaiting and can’t wait to read.

I’m still hoping to be able to read The Immortal Rules before release day. But as this copy was already promised to someone else, I will hopefully have time to read the third copy I should be receiving next week. We shall see…

Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

(April 8 – April 14, 2012)


First up on the pile is Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready. The lovely bloggers – Jaime and Patricia – of Two Chicks On Books sent me their ARC on loan so that I could read this before release.

I am definitely feeling the pressure about choosing to read this one because it’s a series ending book. And as many of you may know, I hate when a series ends. Further, I heard that I should expect to shed a few tears. Uh oh.

Also, I did read that sneak peek on the author’s website awhile back which made me extremely nervous. And according to the first line of the description on Goodreads – which I won’t reveal here for those who haven’t yet caught up on the series – I have even more reason to be nervous given whose “team” I’m on.

But I think my curiosity will win out and that I’ll be able to make it past the tears and heartache to find out just how this trilogy will end, to see just what happens with Aura, Logan and Zach and to get answers to all those burning questions I’ve had.

So, with nervous anticipation I can’t wait to read Shine this week.

Next up on the pile is The Girl Who Was on Fire, the movie tie-in edition. I received a copy for review from the publisher but as I hadn’t read the trilogy or seen the movie I wanted to wait until I had.

And while I haven’t read the entire trilogy just yet, I have seen the film and should be finished with the first book in the series tomorrow, so I thought I’d add this to the pile this week.

I am very curious to see what some of my favorite YA authors have to say about this series and about the world that author Suzanne Collins created. Though if I start to read it and it makes me even more curious about the two remaining books in the series, I may try to sneak those in and get back to this next weekend.

It will be so interesting to see just what the authors have to say about Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch and Panem. And I’m even more interested to find out just how they connect this fictional world to a real-world setting when comparing Panem to other societies from our history.

As I haven’t yet reviewed a non-fiction book or one that discusses authors’ thoughts and ideas, I’m also curious to see just how I’ll do that.

Wishful Thinking reads:

I am not allowing myself any wishful thinking reads this week. Though not listed in the official pile, I am re-reading My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent this week for the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge. So I have no time to wish for yet another book I could be reading.

Although… I would love to read Endlessly by Kiersten White, which should be arriving this week from a trade. Though I hope it doesn’t arrive until next week when I have just a bit more time.

Those left behind:

I’m actually catching up on my reading, but I’m incredibly behind on my reviews. Work has been a little crazy for the past few weeks, so I’ve only had the energy to dive into a book at the end of the night and not put my thoughts into a review. And I’ve tried. It just wasn’t happening.

So while I have read Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz, Return to Eden by G.P. Ching and Forgiven by Jana Oliver, my reviews are still in the works. And I’m about three-fourths of the way done with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which I’ll finish tomorrow, and halfway through Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, which I started yesterday and will definitely finish today. So, I’m not really behind on those either.

Hopefully I’ll get a burst of creativity and a bit of time to write at least four of the five reviews in the coming week. I am, as always, ever hopeful.

NetGalley Pile Adds:

I did not request any new books on NetGalley this week, though I was made aware of just a few new titles. But I am trying to be good and not over-committing myself as is my tendency.

Of course, I did request and was approved for just one title from Edelweiss – Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. But as it’s not due to be released until the end of July, I have just a little bit of time to read it.


This has been an incredibly guilt-inducing week for me as a blogger. I didn’t post one review. I also couldn’t choose between two books to watch, so I didn’t post that this week either. While I had one tour stop and a few other posts aside from giveaways, I feel a bit like a slacker.

Next week I hope to be more on the ball with the rest of those missing reviews posted, along with some of the feature posts I love to put together, like The Crush List. As I have some interview questions to write and a few other things going this week, we shall see…


Do you create a reading pile?

If so, what’s in your pile this week?


Dry by Augusten Burroughs – reviewed by Nic – a “Non” Fiktshun special

Dry by Augusten Burroughs was originally published on June 2, 2003 in the U.S. It is currently available online in hardcover, paperback, audio and eBook formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by St. Martin’s Press, the hardcover is 320 pages.

Goodreads description:

From the bestselling author of Running with Scissors comes Dry—the hilarious, moving, and no less bizarre account of what happened next.

You may not know it, but you’ve met Augusten Burroughs. You’ve seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants: a twenty-something guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two drinks, Augusten was circling the drain by having twelve; when the ordinary person went home at midnight, Augusten never went home at all. Loud, distracting ties, automated wake-up calls, and cologne on the tongue could only hide so much for so long. At the request (well, it wasn’t really a request) of his employers, Augusten landed in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey, Jr., are immediately dashed by the grim reality of fluorescent lighting and paper hospital slippers. But when Augusten is forced to examine himself, something actually starts to click, and that’s when he finds himself in the worst trouble of all. Because when his thirty days are up, he has to return to his same drunken Manhattan life—and live it sober. What follows is a memoir that’s as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is real. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a higher power.

Nic’s review:

I don’t know how to review this book. It was great, fantastic, I couldn’t put it down. It was funny. It was sad.

Dry is a memoir written by Augusten Burroughs, the author of Running with Scissors. His childhood was less than desirable as we learn in Running with Scissors. And now, in his 20s, we learn about his alcoholism and his fight to beat it.

Although the topic is a serious one, Burroughs tries to make light of it with humor, and does a great job at that. However, even with his funny remarks throughout the book I found it to be emotionally draining. I highly recommend it, but encourage you to be in the right mindset to read it.

GUEST REVIEW: The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes (a “Non” Fiktshun special)

The Age of Wonder – How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes – reviewed by CBJ

Partial synopsis from Barnes & Noble:

A riveting history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science.

Brilliantly conceived as a relay of scientific stories, The Age of Wonder investigates the earliest ideas of deep time and space, and the explorers of “dynamic science,” of an infinite, mysterious Nature waiting to be discovered. Three lives dominate the book: William Herschel and his sister Caroline, whose dedication to the study of the stars forever changed the public conception of the solar system, the Milky Way, and the meaning of the universe; and Humphry Davy, who, with only a grammar school education stunned the scientific community with his near-suicidal gas experiments that led to the invention of the miners’ lamp and established British chemistry as the leading professional science in Europe. This age of exploration extended to great writers and poets as well as scientists, all creators relishing in moments of high exhilaration, boundary-pushing and discovery.

The title does not lie, this is book of wonder and is a great read. Richard Holmes takes us sailing, ballooning and star gazing and opens us up to a better understanding of poets like Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Keats, Blake and Coleridge.

Holmes’ journey stood out for me when he captured the life of William Herschel and his sister – both astronomers. How about this for being a thinker for the ages: Very soon after the American Revolution, in 1786 to be exact, our future second President, John Adams, traveled to England, met with William Herschel who discovered the planet Uranus. The central theme of their conversation is recorded for posterity: “[They had] an impassioned discussion about the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and the moral implications of there being a ‘plurality of worlds’.” And that’s just the beginning.

The Romantic Generation produced great poets and great scientists – “[N]ew poetry and the new science were so closely entwined that they must somehow merge….” Everyone was thinking science and writing science.  And yes scientists were also writers. Herschel wrote about how the deeper investigation of electricity and electro-magnetism “would become the leading science of the new age.”

This is a great read if you love discovery on almost every page.

Pin It on Pinterest