One stormy night, Meg Murry can’t sleep after yet another bad day at school. She ends up downstairs having a late-night snack with her mother, a scientist, and Charles Wallace, her genius five-year-old brother. They are joined, unexpectedly, by Mrs. Whatsit—a mysterious old woman, dressed in layers of rags, who has started living in the haunted house in the woods near the Murrys’.
Mrs. Whatsit only stays for a short while, but she startles Mrs. Murry by telling her that there are such things as tesseracts, or wrinkles in time and space. Meg’s father, Mr. Murry, a brilliant physicist who has been missing for over a year, had been studying that very idea before his disappearance.
The following day, Charles Wallace and Meg visit Mrs. Whatsit in the woods, along with Meg’s schoolmate Calvin. The three are introduced to Mrs. Who, who tells them that she, Mrs. Whatsit and their friend Mrs. Which—who are indeed magical, shape-shifting beings who just appear to be old women—will help Meg find and rescue her father. To do so, they will have to tesser—travel rapidly across wrinkles in space—to combat the evil Black Thing that is threatening the whole universe.
To get Mr. Murry back, they must travel to the planet Camazotz, which has already succumbed to the Black Thing’s brainwashing, making everyone think and act the same. For their rescue mission to be a success, Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin must all come to grips with their unique strengths and weaknesses—and discover the power of the strong bond they share.