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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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Showing 1-5 of 396 (next | show all)
J fiction. Set in New York in the 1970's When you Reach Me combines time travel and mystery into a book that keeps you reading. Miranda receives anonymous messages that she must piece together; 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. ( )
  WhitneyYPL | Feb 9, 2016 |
I enjoyed When You Reach Me immensely. First, I found that Miranda's voice was well crafted. As a reader, I was fascinated by Miranda's thought processes and inner emotions. For example, in the middle of the book, Miranda invites her friend over to her apartment. Suddenly Miranda finds herself looking at her home from her friend's point of view. She sees all the imperfections in her apartment that she never noticed before. This particular scene exemplifies the author's skill at really poking and prodding Miranda's inner emotions. By the end of the novel, I felt as though I knew Miranda personally. All of Miranda's quirks and idiosyncrasies were fully realized.

As a realistic fiction book (with a bit of a science fiction twist), I felt that the setting of New York city added to the depth of the story. Miranda's detailed descriptions of daily life in the city (going to the sandwich shop, passing the dancing man on the corner, walking through dangerous parking garages) allowed me to fully imagine her environment. When something "unrealistic" happens at the end, I found myself suspending my disbelief, simply because the rest of the story was so believable.

My only complaint about this book is that I was occasionally confused when the novel jumped between story lines. I felt as thought the author could have made her transitions more obvious. ( )
  ElanaRubinstein | Feb 9, 2016 |
This book is a short chapter book that keeps the reading wondering what will happen next and where the story is going. The story's main character, Miranda, is a very relate able 6th grade girl who faces many problems, including friendships and discovering who she really is.
  michelleripley | Feb 4, 2016 |
A girl named Miranda receives strange, crumpled up notes that seem to make no sense. The prophecies foretold by the mysterious sender end up coming true, but she doesn't know what they want from her. Meanwhile, her best friend stops talking to her and she makes friends with the snobby rich girl in class. In the end, everything comes together just as planned and Miranda learns to truly appreciate the people who love her. A great read for children 11 and up, especially for those who love a sci-fi twist, with the drama of a typical pre-teen novel. ( )
  murandapatanda | Feb 3, 2016 |
As a colleague aptly described, reading this book is like watching an episode of "Mad Men": Things happen or are said that seem inconsequential at the time but later are an integral part of the whole. This is the kind of book that will send you on a mind-bending head trip but you'll want to go back and re-read once you know how it all plays out. A fine example of how children's/YA literature is often more satisfying than a lot of contemporary adult fiction.

3/31/10 Listened to the audio version narrated by Cynthia Holloway. This can be even more mind-boggling than the print version since you can't easily flip back in the story. I also expected more of a dark tone because that's how I read the book but Ms Holloway puts more of a light, young spin on it. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 396 (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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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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