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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
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When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead

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4,3664701,603 (4.16)252
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» See also 252 mentions

English (467)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (470)
Showing 1-5 of 467 (next | show all)
In the beginning, I did not think I was going to like this book, however, in the end I ended up loving this book! The language the author used in this book was phenomenal, it was clear and descriptive and made you feel as if you were in the story itself. My favorite example of her language is when Miranda's apartment is being described as old, a little dirty, and not very well kept. While Annemarie's apartment is described as luxurious, clean, and feels more like home than anything. It made you feel as if you were right there in the story inside each girls apartment. I also liked the characters in this book, they were well-developed, believable, and made you feel as if you were in the book and friends with them too. Although, he isn't exactly a main character all of the book, it was unbelievable how realistic the crazy man was to me. After his description was given and his actions were talked about, I could picture him perfectly on the streets of New York. I liked that she made the characters so believable that you felt like you knew the characters. The main idea in this book is friendship. Miranda, Sal, Annemarie, Marcus, and the crazy man show that with friendship, you can accomplish so much together. ( )
  cberry6 | Oct 22, 2018 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because it was very different from any of the stories that we have read so far in its plot and style; the reader spends a majority of the book in a general state of confusion, not knowing who it is that Miranda, the protagonist, is referring to when she speaks directly to the reader since it is written in medias res. The story is told by a young girl who lives with her single mother in New York City, when she mysteriously starts to get anonymous notes that predict her future; the reader learns at the end of the story that the notes were left by her time traveling friend Marcus, who attempts to save Miranda’s friend Sal’s life along with his own. I found the plot to be organized and the suspense and eeriness of the writing left me feeling uneasy at times, making it all the more fun to read. I thought the characters were believable and well-developed which made the science-fiction/fantasy theme all the more important—when the lives of the characters are similar to the reader’s it makes the added element of something as superfluous as time travel so much more exciting and page-turning. It is almost hard to believe something so unrealistic would happen to such realistic characters. My only issue with the book was that it depended on the reader having read the book A Wrinkle in Time more than I would have liked; I almost felt as if I was missing out on details of the story because I could sense that the consistent parallels between the two were important and yet I could not pick up on them for lack of knowledge on the story. If another reader has read A Wrinkle in Time and is familiar with the story, the might get much more out of the "When You Reach Me"—and might be a little less confused than someone like myself, who has no knowledge whatsoever on the famous book. I’m afraid that if I were to introduce this book to my own class of students, they might feel a similar disconnect from the story and will have difficulty following through with the book. There are a few big ideas that come from "When You Reach Me", and though the book is not entirely about time travel, one of the biggest messages is about time and its importance in our lives. The reader spends a great deal of time with Miranda and sees just how much can change over the course of a few months; she chooses to tell her story to the reader in a way that slips out bits of information at a time, guiding you through the book with the largest chunk of essential details left to the very end and yet, we were still able to walk away making connections throughout the previous chapters. The story was flipped from the outside in, the element of time was manipulated in an unconventional way to show how much we depend on time to make sense of things so the reader has to change his or her way of thinking. I found this to be an entertaining read and forced me to do some extra thinking long after I turned the last page. ( )
  mkende1 | Oct 16, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this chapter book. I had read this book when I was in elementary school, and i was immediately engaged because the story was a fantasy about time travel. All of the characters were well developed. The younger characters were in middle school, and the language in the story made them come to life. I really enjoyed the plot in this story, and how at the beginning of the book, I felt confused as a reader because at the end everything made a lot of sense. The message in this story was about believing in yourself which is an important message for young adult readers. Even though there were some adult themes, a young adult reader might be able to connect to this story really well. The writing was really engaging, considering I was hooked from the first page to the last page. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and all of the characters. ( )
  rwertl1 | Oct 15, 2018 |
I had mixed feeling about this book after I was done reading it. I think it was very interesting and made you want to keep reading, but at some parts, it was very confusing as well. The language used in the book seemed to be very clear, however, I think it was the “future” or the idea of the “time travel” that made the book so difficult to comprehend. The story is told in first person from the main character Miranda. I like this because I think it makes it easier for the reader to relate and connect with the character. It was also very interesting to me that the narrator’s perspective of other people changed as she learned more about them throughout the story. The character Miranda is a rounded character and is described as an observant, outgoing, brave and very independent. I personally think she is a great role model for other readers. This book is great because it offers mystery, time travel and relatable characters. The author I think also sends a very powerful message to the reader that, you can’t judge people by their cover, you have to get to know them first and your opinion might change! ( )
  kpasto3 | Oct 10, 2018 |
I want to give nothing away, so I'll just say (a) terrific, and (b) reminds me of A Prayer for Owen Meany ... so if you liked that one, you'll have a similar response to this one. How wonderful that Rebecca Stead writes books for kids than can hold their own with the best adult fiction. ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 467 (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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Epigraph
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.

-- Albert Einstein

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

champions of inappropriate laughter, fierce love,

and extremely deep questions
First words
So Mom got a postcard today.
Quotations
"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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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