Here's another edition that shows them at the proper age, with feminine teen-idol faces, but with their muscles and phallic symbols still emphasized.
More digging revealed that Madeleine L'Engel wrote four science fiction-y young adult novels with Calvin and Meg falling in love as a major plot arc (Calvin and Meg were the primary couple?). Then they marry and have 7 kids. Their eldest daughter Polly stars in four novels of her own, mostly involving falling in love with a rich college boy named Zachary.
You get the idea: heterosexism rules. You can be as unconventional as you want, as long as you obey the "fade out kiss" mandate.
The beefcake covers were apparently designed only for heterosexual girls.
And that's not all. L'Engel doesn't mention gay people often, but when she does, homophobia oozes from every pore.
In A House Like a Lotus, Polly fights off a predatory lesbian. Her parents, Calvin and Meg, are jubilant to discover that she isn't a pervert.
In A Severed Wasp, there are evil, predatory gays (not to mention casual antisemitism).
In The Small Rain, Katherine is an intelligent, sophisticated woman who has been raised in an unconventional household. Nevertheless, when she see a lesbian:
Katherine stared at the creature again and realized that it was indeed a woman, or perhaps once had been a woman. Now it wore a man's suit, shirt,and tie; its hair was cut short; out of a dead-white face glared a pair of despairing eyes. Feeling Katherine's gaze, the creature turned and looked at her, and that look was branded into Katherine's body; it was as though it left a physical mark.
Can I still read A Wrinkle in Time as offering hope to kids who are struggling with being different? Critiquing the iron cage of heterosexism?
Of course. Authorial intention is irrelevant. In the words of Alice Walker, "You are your own best hope." Find belonging wherever you can, even in words intended to exclude you.
Find love wherever you can, even in words intended to express hate.
Find hope wherever you can, even in words intended to make you despair.