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If you liked A Wrinkle in Time, then you’ll like The Apothecary

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These two books definitely go in my favorite collection. Great characters, extraordinary adventures, and strong relationships make them both must-reads for children and adults.

wrinkleWhat the books have in common:

  1. Strong underdog protagonists – both are girls a bit out of sorts in their everyday lives. L’Engle’s Meg is a plain teen who feels like a failure at high school and in her family. Meloy’s Janie is an American moving to London, who would rather be a 1950s movie star.
  1. Good friends – In A Wrinkle in Time, Meg’s high school friend Calvin O’Keefe helps calm Meg’s frustrations, while the mystery surrounding Benjamin Burrows leads Janie into adventure in The Apothecary.
  1. People with unique abilities – Meg’s 5-year-old brother understands things beyond everyday human experience and Janie’s encounters with the mysterious apothecary reveal his concoctions go beyond the realm of medicinal remedies.

How the books differ:

The uniqueness of Meloy – When I first started reading The Apothecary, I thought I was reading a historical fiction novel, but after a few chapters I knew things would get exciting. Set in 1952, Meloy uses post-World War II and the golden age of movie making as the backdrop for a teenage girl’s extraordinary adventures that defy the laws of physics.apothecary

The genre bending of L’Engle – In 1962, L’Engle combined current trends in scientific thought with supernatural space travel and threw in a bit of religious philosophy to top it off. Many critics thought it was too advanced and radical for young readers, but generations of children still read this book and many adults still remember it as one of their favorites. I reread it again recently and loved how it still stretches my imagination.

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