When You Reach Me
By Rebecca Stead
Summary: By sixth grade Miranda knows how to navigate her New York City neighbourhood. She knows where it’s safe to go and things to avoid, like the crazy homeless man that lives on the corner. When her best friend gets punched on the street by an older kid, things start to unravel. Sal, her best friend, won’t talk to her anymore and she starts getting strange notes. They don’t make a lot of sense, but they seem to be from someone who knows things they shouldn’t, things that haven’t happened yet. In a mixture of real life and science fiction, Miranda starts to solve the puzzle of the letters.
Review: This quirky and quick read will appeal to a wide audience. Stead does an excellent job at creating a strong setting, one that is recognizable and adds considerable depth. She spends a great deal of time on the beginning, letting it develop, setting the stage before the letters come. This serves to root readers in the story from the beginning. Readers will enjoy the simplicity of Miranda and her life in contrast to the more “out of this world” elements. Overall, I thought this was a very enjoyable read and perfect for those who enjoy a bit of a quirky story.
Also by Rebecca Stead: First Light
If you enjoyed When you Reach Me, you might also like: The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg, 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson,
Additional Info: Winner of ALA Notable Children’s Books, Horn Book Award, Newberry Medal, School Library Journal Best Books and YALSA Best Books.
Author Website: http://www.rebeccasteadbooks.com/
Rating: W4/4 C4/4 P4/4 O4/4 PP3/4 CR3/4
Grade Level Interest: M