1st Edition

Reading Madeleine L’Engle Ecopsychology in Children’s and Adolescent Literature

By Heidi A. Lawrence Copyright 2023

    Using a critical lens derived from ecopsychology and its praxis, ecotherapy, this book explores the relationships Madeleine L’Engle develops for her characters in a selection of the novels from her three Time, Austin family, and O’Keefe family series as those relationships develop along a human-nonhuman kinship continuum. This is accomplished through an examination both of pairs of novels from the fantastic and the realistic series, and of single novels which stand out as slightly different from the most prominent genre in a given series. Thus, this examination also shows L’Engle’s fluid movement along a fantasy-reality continuum and demonstrates the integration of the three series with each other. Importantly, through examining these relationships and this movement along continuums in these novels, the project demonstrates how ecopsychology and ecotherapy provide strong and important – and as-yet virtually unexplored – intersections with children’s literature.

    General Introduction

    Chapter 1: Differentiation and Integration in
    A Wrinkle in Time and The Young Unicorns

    Chapter 2: Human Interpersonal Relationships in
    The Moon by Night and A Swiftly Tilting Planet

    Chapter 3: Overcoming Fear of Death through Interspecies Relationships in
    A Ring of Endless Light

    Chapter 4: Oceans, Islands, and Reconciliation with Self and Others in
    A House Like a Lotus

    General Conclusion

    Appendix A

    Appendix B

    Appendix C


    Heidi A. Lawrence (PhD in English Literature, University of Glasgow) studies the intersections of ecopsychology and its praxis, ecotherapy, with children’s literature, taking special interest in imaginative and fantastic literature. She has published on Madeleine L’Engle and L.M. Montgomery. She works as adjunct faculty at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), teaching in the English Department and the School of Education.