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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,7934861,572 (4.15)262
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

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» See also 262 mentions

English (482)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (485)
Showing 1-5 of 482 (next | show all)
Having never read A WRINKLE IN TIME, I didn't get the connection. It felt like the author was maxing out her word count then threw everything together in the couple of chapters. I appreciated the nostalgia, though. I picked it solely for the Newbury taped to the cover and was left feeling gipped. ( )
  amandanan | Jun 6, 2020 |
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is a short chapter book that takes readers in on a mysterious journey of a young girl Miranda. She wants to help her win money from what is known as, “The $20,000 Pyramid”. The first chapter appears a little hard to get through, but after I did not want to put the book down. The elements of the story have readers purposefully confused at moments, only at the end understanding what it all means. Letters that do not seem to make sense appear throughout the story, almost making readers feel they are a part of a puzzle. Stead uses descriptive imagery that makes it easy for readers to understand the setting and events that happen in the book. Each character is unique and well developed, which makes them feel like real people who are going through this mysterious journey. Miranda particularly likes the book A Wrinkle in Time, which is a detail that makes readers want to know more about this book. Overall When You Reach Me is a great first book for readers looking to get more familiar with the Science Fiction genre. ( )
  Bstapl1 | May 5, 2020 |
I finished this book yesterday and I've been trying ever since to come up with the best way to review Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me. By now, everybody's most likely heard that it won the Newberry Medal this year and it well deserved. It's a wonderfully beautifully written story. I'm going to try but there's no way I can do this story justice.

Miranda is in sixth grade. At first she thinks she's got life figured out but things start to fall apart. Her best friend, Sal, no longer wants to be friends with her after being punched by a stranger on their way home from school for no reason. So Miranda is stuck making new friends and learning how to handle being a latchkey kid after school without Sal to keep her company. Then, one day, mysterious notes began appearing. The first one says, "I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own. I ask two favors. First you must write me a letter." As the story goes on, Miranda realizes that this person knows things about her that there's no way he should know. Who exactly is he? And what does he want from her?

The characters in When You Reach Me are so real and ordinary that I had no problem putting myself in Miranda's shoes. Miranda goes to school, hangs out with friends, helps her mom prepare for The $20,000 Pyramid, refuses to read any book but A Wrinkle in Time (when I finished this book, I was wishing my copy of A Wrinkle in Time was handy so that I could go back and reread it). Stead so deftly weaves in a sci-fi/fantasy element to this story that as a reader, you hardly notice it's showing up until it hits you in the face.

I borrowed this book from the library but I know without a doubt that I will be buying a copy for my library. It's a definite keeper and rereader. ( )
  melrailey | Apr 7, 2020 |
I really enjoyed this book for many reasons. The first being the relationship and dynamic between Miranda and her mother. I found their relationship very compelling. Both heartwarming and at times cold. Through the writing and dialogue between them, it is very clear they love each other. At times I noticed how Miranda seemed to parent or take care of her mom in ways. I also enjoyed this book for the wild connections made throughout the book. With some things I would have to go back and reread a chapter to be sure I was making the correct connection. Another thing I like about this book is all the small details the author included. The simple inclusion of making “A Wrinkle in Time” Miranda’s favorite book is a brilliant yet subtle detail. One part in the book I liked was the simple conversation between Miranda and Marcus at the school dentist office about the book “A Wrinkle in Time”. Such a small detail that really tied in the ending for me. The book in the beginning was a little slow, but after the first chapter I could not put the book down. I would recommend this book to middle school age and up. I feel reading this as an adult I am able to pull out deeper meanings which I am grateful for. ( )
  ksteir1 | Apr 2, 2020 |
When You Reach Me surprised me because while reading the book, I completely forgot the genre and was completely sucked into the plot. I constantly wanted to know more and each page was as exciting as the last. The characters were so unique and each one was incredibly interesting. Miranda’s mother in particular was one of the best characters. Without too much detail, you could see how much she was trying and caring for her daughter, and all the emotions that dwelled within her without it being a strong focus. The mystery unfolds through a series of small things, which is fitting, as the book is all about the small things in life and their moments. It is very ordinary and yet at the same time, not at all. ( )
  sfyock1 | Apr 2, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 482 (next | show all)
This book has a very nice climax when given. Exciting and has much significance to it. Symbolic and wonderful.
added by GraceDaniels | editNew York Times, Grace Daniels (Feb 14, 2014)
...a story in which characters really come alive during those few months we spend with them, when their lives are shaped for ever.
In this taut novel, every word, every sentence, has meaning and substance. A hybrid of genres, it is a complex mystery, a work of historical fiction, a school story and one of friendship, with a leitmotif of time travel running through it. Most of all the novel is a thrilling puzzle. Stead piles up clues on the way to a moment of intense drama, after which it is pretty much impossible to stop reading until the last page.
Eventually and improbably, these strands converge to form a thought-provoking whole. Stead ('First Light') accomplishes this by making every detail count, including Mirandas name, her hobby of knot tying and her favorite book, Madeleine LEngles 'A Wrinkle in Time'. Its easy to imagine readers studying Mirandas story as many times as shes read LEngles, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises.
added by sduff222 | editPublishers Weekly (Jun 22, 2009)
Stead's novel is as much about character as story. Miranda's voice rings true with its faltering attempts at maturity and observation. The story builds slowly, emerging naturally from a sturdy premise. As Miranda reminisces, the time sequencing is somewhat challenging, but in an intriguing way. The setting is consistently strong. The stores and even the streets–in Miranda's neighborhood act as physical entities and impact the plot in tangible ways. This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal, Caitlan Augusta

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rebecca Steadprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blackall, SophieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holloway, CynthiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.

-- Albert Einstein

The World As I See It (1931)
To Sean, Jack, and Eli,

champions of inappropriate laughter, fierce love,

and extremely deep questions
First words
So Mom got a postcard today.
"It's the jumping, from one diamond to the next, that we call time, but like I said, time doesn't really exist. Like that girl just said, a diamond is a moment, and all the diamonds on the ring are happening at the same time. It's like having a drawer full of pictures."
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Book description
This remarkable novel holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart.
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, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street 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 a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. 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.
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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