A Wind in the Door Author:Madeleine Lengle Meg Murry is worried about her brother Charles Wallace, a 6-year-old genius and telepath who is shunned and bullied by the other children. The new principal of the elementary school is the former high school principal, Mr. Jenkins, who often disciplined Meg, and who Meg is sure has a grudge against her whole family. Meg tries to enlist Jenkins' ... more »help in protecting her brother, but is unsuccessful. On top of this, Meg discovers that Charles Wallace has a progressive disease which is leaving him short of breath. Their mother, a microbiologist, suspects it may have something to do with his mitochondria and the (fictional) "farandolae" which live within them.
One afternoon, Charles Wallace tells Meg he saw a "drive of dragons" in the vegetable garden in their back yard. Meg goes out with him to investigate, but all they find is a pile of very odd feathers. Later, Meg has a frightening encounter with something that looks like Mr. Jenkins. Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe discover that Charles Wallace's drive of dragons is a single creature named Proginoskes. Progo, as he is quickly nicknamed, insists on being called "a cherubim" instead of a cherub because he is "practically plural," having a multitude of wings and eyes. The children also encounter a tall robed being named Blajeny, who informs them that he is a Teacher, and that they and Proginoskes have all been called to his class.
Meg learns that the galaxy is threatened by beings called Echthroi, which seek to erase the entire universe by un-Naming things. She soon has to save Mr. Jenkins from this fate, by Naming him. Part of the task is to distinguish the real Mr. Jenkins from two Echthroi doubles, but it also means that she must look past her personal grudge, find the goodness in Mr. Jenkins, and let herself love him.
The characters then learn that Echthroi are destroying Charles Wallace's farandolae. They travel inside one of his mitochondria, which is named Yadah, and turn the tide by convincing a larval farandola to take root and accept its role as a mature fara, against the urgings of an Echthros. In the process, Meg is nearly "Xed," and Mr. Jenkins is invaded by his Echthros doubles. Proginoskes sacrifices himself to "fill in" the emptiness of the Echthroi, and Charles Wallace's life is saved.« less