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Monday Book Review: When You Reach Me February 15, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Book Reviews.
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The 2010 winner of the Newbery Medal,When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, is so much more than a middle school, coming of age drama. This mystery-drama brought me back to my own youth as I turned the pages under the covers, because I just couldn’t put it down. Part time-traveling mystery, part coming of age drama, and part paean to New York City, what kid wouldn’t want to be wrapped in Miranda’s life, receiving cryptic, anonymous notes that seem to appear from no where, traversing the streets of the city with a pack of friends, and experiencing the first joys and pitfalls of romance?

Miranda is a sixth grader who is attempting to figure out why her best friend has suddenly abandoned her, how to make new friends, where the mysterious notes are coming from, and how to help her mother win money on the $20,000 Pyramid game show. Her obsession with Madeleine L’Engle’s classic book A Wrinkle in Time is more important than it might at first seem. When her new friend begins to explain an inconsistency in the classic work, as well as pointing to the possibility of real time travel, Miranda begins to take the notes seriously as they state that she will be able to save a life through following the instructions.

Though the mystery of the notes will keep you turning the pages, this is ultimately a book with heart, and friendship, family, and self sacrifice are at its core. Though this may be a young adult novel, this is a great read for anyone.



1. Julia - February 16, 2010

Love the book, hate the cover! For those of you who are diorama fans, check out this blog, which has pictures on some student-made dioramas based on the book. Hilarious.

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