The back of this book describes it as "a remarkable novel (that) takes place in the real world, but holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart. When You Reach Me is original and a brilliant and profound delight." Wow -- how can a book live up to that kind of hype?? I don't know, but this one did. It's a perfect description -- this is the real world. Twelve-year-old Miranda lives in NYC in the late 70's, and Stead's characterizations are spot on, with such observations as what the … more
Miranda and Sal have been best friends practically since birth. They did everything together--from daycare naptime to walking to school--until sixth grade when Sal is suddenly punched by the new kid. Sal shuts Miranda out of his life, and that's when Miranda's life starts to spin out of control. The spare key to Miranda's apartment is stolen, the crazy guy on the corner's behavior becomes even stranger, and Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes from an undisclosed person. These notes are what … more
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Amazon Best of the Month, July 2009:Shortly after sixth-grader Miranda and her best friend Sal part ways, for some inexplicable reason her once familiar world turns upside down. Maybe it's because she's caught up in readingA Wrinkle in Timeand trying to understand time travel, or perhaps it's because she's been receiving mysterious notes which accurately predict the future. Rebecca Stead's poignant novel,When You Reach Me, captures the interior monologue and observations of kids who are starting to recognize and negotiate the complexities of friendship and family, class and identity. Set in New York City in 1979, the story takes its cue from beloved Manhattan tales for middle graders like E.L. Konigsburg'sFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Louise Fitzhugh'sHarriet the Spy, and Norma Klein'sMom the Wolfman and Me.Like those earlier novels,When You Reach Mewill stir the imaginations of young readers curious about day-to-day life in a big city.--Lauren Nemroff