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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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3,2913651,658 (4.17)233
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English (360)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (363)
Showing 1-5 of 360 (next | show all)
Miranda’s life isn’t bad, it is just complicated. We meet the people in Miranda’s life and are introduced to the complicated aspects. There are mysterious notes that begin to appear and it is a long time before we understand where they are coming from. In the end, everything is not tied up neatly but it is as resolved as real life is.

Personal Reactions
I enjoyed this book. At first my impression was, there is a lot of “filler” or frivolous detail included. In the end though, I realized the author’s way of including all these details really paints a detailed setting for the reader. We get to know the characters very well and the underlying message about loving and caring for people is lovely. The book is not loving in a “mushy” way that will turn kids off. The message is delivered in the form that we tend to learn lessons in life, through the experience, we receive clarity.

Extension Ideas:
Design a movie poster for the (pretend) movie premiere of this book
Write a few pages to extend the story ending or to give the book a new ending. ( )
  Lena_Krenzke | Mar 23, 2015 |
Miranda grows up in a single family household in the 1970s with her politically correct mother who is a paralegal. She had to quit law school when she became pregnant with Miranda; she names Miranda after Miranda Rights. Her mom volunteers her time with female prisoners to help and empower them when they return to society. While Miranda encounters coming of age problems she must navigate around the “laughing man” on the corner while trying to figure out why her best friend Sal wants nothing to do with her. As I read the book I couldn't wait to find out who wrote the mysterious notes and how they knew the future. It had me guessing throughout the book. This book could be used as a read aloud or a literature circle book. Readers who like realistic fiction or science fiction might enjoy this book because it reads like realistic fiction and adds the mystery of time travel as well.
  MSara | Mar 2, 2015 |
Response - I didn't care for this book. I thought that the connection to a Wrinkle in Time was weak and that parts of the plot vague and characters boring. I had to read other reviews in order to appreciate it and understand why it received the Newberry.

Curricular connection - literature circle; reading groups
  jegammon | Feb 19, 2015 |
For a YA book, this crosses over pretty well. I really enjoy that it's a genre crossover between literary and science fiction. ( )
  tpollack | Jan 11, 2015 |
I can see why this well-crafted book is racking up the gushing-yet-thoughtful reviews I've been reading all over the place. I can imagine adults and kids alike reading it for the pure pleasure of the interlocking clues that all fit together, and the characters who come alive with a handful of well-chosen details.

However... I kind of wish I had not been aware of all that hype. I appreciated the mystery element, but by the time I was a third of the way through I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen. Thus I never experienced the sort of "Oh, so THAT'S what's going on!" moment I was hoping for, when all the little pieces suddenly click together and you marvel at the brilliance of it all. I know other readers *have* had that experience though, and perhaps I would have too, had I not picked up the book with a specific expectation of finding it.

So, for me the experience of reading this was not all that I had hoped for, but that will not stop me from recommending it, and cheering for it when it wins awards and honors.
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 360 (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 editionsconfirmed
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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As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s 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.… (more)

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