Sandy and Dennys have always been the normal, run-of-the-mill ones in the extraodinary Murry family. They garden, make an occasional A in school, and play baseball. Nothing especially interesting has happened to the twins until they accidentally interrupt their father's experiment.
Then the two boys are thrown across time and space. They find themselves alone in the desert, where, if they believe in unicorns, they can find unicorns, and whether they believe or not, mammoths and manticores will find them.
The twins are rescued by Japheth, a man from the nearby oasis, but before he can bring them to safety, Dennys gets lost. Each boy is quickly embroiled in the conflicts of this time and place, whose populations includes winged seraphim, a few stray mythic beasts, perilous and beautiful nephilim, and small, long lived humans who consider Sandy and Dennys giants. The boys find they have more to do in the oasis than simply getting themselves home--they have to reunite an estranged father and son, but it won't be easy, especially when the son is named Noah and he's about to start building a boat in the desert.
We've all done it. In the frigid depths of winter we've wished we could be magically transported to someplace warm and sunny. But most people don't have genius parents who just happen to be working on a scientific experiment with time travel at the moment of our wish. Sandy and Dennys Murry, the "normal" boys in a family of geniuses, suddenly find themselves trudging through a blazing-hot desert, seeking a far-off oasis for shade. Their desperate wandering brings them face-to-face with history--biblical history. Soon they're feeling right at home with Noah and his family. Even so, the urgent question is, how will Sandy and Dennys get back to their own place and time before the floods--the many waters--come? As they begin to cross the invisible border into adulthood, the twins must confront their ability to resist temptation and embrace integrity.
In Many Waters, Madeleine L'Engle continues the Murry family saga, which includes A Wrinkle in Time; A Wind in the Door; and A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which won the American Book Award. L'Engle's mystical mix of science fiction and fantasy, time and space travel, history, morals, religion, and culture once again urges her many adoring readers to stretch their minds and hearts to understand why the world is the way it is. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter