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.


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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


Rules for 50 50 Chances

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Author: Kate McGovern
Release date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, eBook



Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that tells her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother.

With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult-including her dream career in ballet and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool and gets an audition for a dance scholarship across the country, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.


NOTE: This review is based on a finished copy I received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

The Review

RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES gives you a lot to think about both during and after the read. It poses the question – if you could find out whether you had a debilitating and ultimately fatal illness, would you want to know? It touches upon a number of issues from the loss of a parent to illness, to caring for and living with family members who are ill, to race, to class, to anger, frustration, guilt, sacrifice, and love. And it does so through a narrator who is at the cusp of starting her life as an adult, who has faced and will continue to face a number of challenges, who is anxious and upset and scared and uncertain.

Rose Levenson has lived for years with the knowledge that she would lose her mother to Huntington’s disease. She knew that she would have to live with the angry, uncensored person her mother would become. And she knew that there was a good chance that her mother’s fate would be hers.

For years she tried to bury her head in the sand and not think about the “what ifs.” But the not knowing cast a shadow over her entire life, it was all she could think about, and it affected every decision she made or chose not to make. Everyone told her that she had to live her life, to not think about a future that may or may not be hers. But how could she risk making choices she might regret? How could she risk falling in love and putting them through what her father was going through? How could she give up the possibility of knowing that she had absolutely nothing to worry about at all?

Kate McGovern created a story that is engaging, thought-provoking, heartbreaking and yet hopeful, with a character who is often difficult to like but whose actions and reactions are understandable and very realistic for someone her age, in her situation. Rose is short-tempered, self-involved, fearful, nervous, and a bit obsessive, though she can also be funny, kind, and open-minded. Her situation is one readers will be able to sympathize with, even if they don’t always find her to be sympathetic.

The author did a wonderful job of giving readers a better understanding of what life might be like living with a family member who has Huntington’s disease and what it might be like to struggle with the decision to know or not know whether the disease is a part of their future. But in attempting to tackle a number of other issues, including the challenges of an interracial relationship, the challenges facing two people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and hinting at a physically abusive relationship, as well as trying to introduce a number of diverse characters, things fell a bit short.

By introducing and only lightly touching upon those other issues raised, they felt underserved and largely unresolved. And while the idea of incorporating diverse characters into the story was exciting, the fact of their diversity at times felt like an afterthought instead of feeling organic to the story. Trying to take on so many hard-hitting issues that were secondary to the main storyline diluted them. The focal point of the story provided plenty of food for thought. It was interesting. It was informative. It was eye-opening. It was so well-done.

Kate McGovern did not pull any punches when showing readers what life was like for Rose over the many months of her life the story encompassed. It was difficult. It was ugly. It was confusing. It was embarrassing. It was unpredictable. It was devastating.

RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES is an important story that brings awareness to a disease that is not often written about, especially not in young adult literature. It will give readers an appreciation for those who have to live with this illness. And it will put them in Rose’s shoes and make them wonder whether they would choose as she did.

The Rating


About Kate McGovern


Kate McGovern has written both fiction and nonfiction for the educational market, and has taught theatre, literacy, and creative writing to kids in Boston, New York, and London. She received her bachelor’s in American Studies from Yale. She currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Book Watch: Execution


Execution by Alexander Gordon Smith will be released in the U.S. on November 13, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online to pre-order in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 320 pages.

Execution is the fifth and final book in author Alexander Gordon Smith’s Escape from Furnace series.


There are a ton of books releasing the week of November 13th that I’m just dying to read. But the one I’m most excited for and the one that absolutely must be in the spotlight this week is EXECUTION by Alexander Gordon Smith.

I have been waiting for what feels like two lifetimes for the release of this final book in the Escape from Furnace series. I was so very tempted to purchase the UK edition just so that I didn’t have to wait. I managed to restrain myself, but just barely.

But when my Kindle copy downloads on Monday night, November 12th, I will drop whatever I’m reading to start this. Because I am so desperate to finally find out how this series wraps up and to check out the epilogue that’s posted on the author’s website – which I won’t link here as I’m afraid I’ll accidentally read it.

After the way things ended in Fugitives I’m that much more anxious to see what happens to those characters that remain. The description promises answers, but given the way this series has progressed, I’m not confident of a happy ending for anyone. I’m just hoping that things won’t end in total annihilation.

I discovered this series thanks to the outreach of a local publicity company for the publisher. And I’m so glad that happened, because this is one of my favorite series of all time. One I never would have stumbled upon on my own. Even with it’s horrifying covers… well, especially with its horrifying covers.

There is a depth to these stories that surprised me when I picked up – and devoured – the first book in the series, Lockdown.  I did not anticipate anything other than being terrified by a book that appeared to simply be a horror story. I also didn’t expect it to be as beautifully written as it was.

I was captivated, I was shocked, I was horrified, I was heartbroken. I couldn’t have hoped for more. This series is so incredibly memorable as is the author’s writing and I am so unbelievably excited to read the final book in this series to see just how things end. I just know I’ll be heartbroken.

As this is one of my favorite series and each book is as addicting as the last, I can’t imagine that EXECUTION will be anything but amazing. And so, of course, even with all the other awesome books releasing this week, this is without a doubt the book to watch this week.

Places to Watch

The author on TWITTER

The author on FACEBOOK

The author’s WEBSITE

The author’s BLOG

The series on FACEBOOK


About the Book

*** Goodreads description is spoiler-y for previous books in the series ***

Goodreads Description:

Alex Sawyer has escaped his underground nightmare to discover the whole world has become a prison, and Alfred Furnace is its master.

Monsters rule the streets, leaving nothing but murder in their wake. Those who do not die become slaves to Furnace’s reign of cruelty. Alex is a monster too. He is the only one who can stop Furnace but in doing so he could destroy everything.

Is he the executed or the executioner? Who will die? All Alex knows is that one way or another, it all ends now.

Other Amazing Books to Watch

Here are some awesome books releasing the week of November 13th:

Soul Screamers Vol. 2 by Rachel Vincent

Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1) by J.A. Souders

Black City (Black City #1) by Elizabeth Richards

Bad Hair Day (Kate Grable #2) by Carrie Harris

Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie

Echo (The Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel

Speed of Light (Fenestra #3) by Amber Kizer

Wolf Pact (Part 3) by Melissa de la Cruz

Night’s Darkest Embrace by Jeaniene Frost ***Not YA***

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