When You Reach Me [Book Review]

Title: When You Reach Me
Author: Rebecca Stead
Genre: Middle Grade/Science Fiction(ish)
ISBN: 0385737424
Pages: 197
Year: 2009
Publisher: Random House (Wendy Lamb Books)
Source: Public Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Plot summary:

Four mysterious letters change Miranda’s world forever.By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.

I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late.

My thoughts:

I’ve wanted to read this book ever since Emily reviewed it back in August. And then it won the Newbury Medal. And then everyone in Pinellas County wanted to read it so I had to wait a very long time to get it from the library. But it was worth the wait.

When You Reach Me is the kind of book I wish existed when I was a young girl. Just like the main character, Miranda, I loved A Wrinkle in Time. I did not carry it around everywhere like she does, but I still possess my well-worn copy.

When You Reach Me has wonderfully quirky characters. Miranda’s mom is training for the $20,000 Pyramid, her best friend’s dad is full of never-ending snacks wrapped in bows, and the sandwich shop owner trades cheese sandwiches for an hour’s work each day.Β  These characters weave their way through a creative and intriguing plot. I really don’t want to say to much more because you should discover this book on your own.

This unique coming of age novel blends time travel, friendship, and just good storytelling. How can you not love that in middle grade fiction?

Other Reviews:

Buy It Now: Amazon; The Book Depository (43% off right now!); ; Powell’s; IndieBound

11 thoughts on “When You Reach Me [Book Review]

  1. Iris April 8, 2010 / 8:25 am

    Great review! It does sound like an intriguing book. It sounds like one of those books meant for younger people but worth reading however old you are.


  2. Helen April 8, 2010 / 8:27 am

    I really liked this book as well! I found the whole premise so intriguing; it’s a difficult one to review because you don’t want to give away the main gist, which is only revealed near the end!


  3. Kelly April 8, 2010 / 8:34 am

    Oh, I loved this book. πŸ™‚ And yeah, I wish it had somehow been written when I was in elementary school, because I would’ve completely adored it and read it, like, 300 times.


  4. Jenny April 8, 2010 / 9:19 am

    This sounds really good!! I think I’m going to read it. Except I didn’t love A Wrinkle in Time when I was younger, lol… I would maybe like it now if I read it but I couldn’t grasp the concept of it when I read that book. I’m sure I’ll still like this book though. =)


    • Michelle April 8, 2010 / 9:23 am

      I made my husband read A Wrinkle in Time about a year ago and he hated it so much that I’m afraid to revisit it. I loved it so much as a child that I don’t want to not like it now.


  5. Michelle April 8, 2010 / 2:49 pm

    I can’t wait to read this! Thanks for the review…


  6. Vishy April 8, 2010 / 3:55 pm

    Lovely review! Will add this book to my ‘TBR’ list. I was a latecomer to Madeleine L’Engle and ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, but I loved it when I read it.


  7. Ronnica April 8, 2010 / 7:54 pm

    I really enjoyed this book! I think it’s the characters that really make it. I look forward to reading it again.


  8. Reeder Reads April 8, 2010 / 9:09 pm

    Sounds like a great read! I heard someone say that this book is magical! πŸ™‚


  9. Bina April 9, 2010 / 8:52 am

    This sounds so great, but I think I should read A Wrinkle in Time before πŸ™‚


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