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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
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When You Reach Me (2009)

by Rebecca Stead

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,995None1,902 (4.17)227
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English (334)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (337)
Showing 1-5 of 334 (next | show all)
This was one of the best chapter books I have read this semester. The plot is strange and fresh, something I have not read before. For example, Rebecca Stead creates a story of an 11-year-old girl whose life initially seems pretty dull, but as the book progresses, the reader can see that it is anything but dull. The story represents a variety of different genres; it offers a historically relevant setting, a mysterious plot, and discussion of science fiction. The characters in the book are well-developed, and I personally felt an emotional connection to the main character, Miranda. I enjoyed her journey striving to comprehend the world around her. I particularly enjoyed Rebecca Stead’s style of writing. For example, the way she managed to tell a mysterious and complex story using a more simplistic, straightforward style of writing is intriguing. Additionally, this story cross-references other texts, and I feel that this is a strong and unique way to enhance the writing. One of the most profound big ideas in this book is that traveling through life’s complexities and mysteries can be challenging at times, but it is exactly these things that make life worth living. ( )
  kbrash1 | Mar 30, 2014 |
loved it! so much fun & a brilliant story! ( )
  lloyd1175 | Mar 22, 2014 |
The prose style of this book is insightful, creative and intriguing, guiding the plot along and perpetuating the over arching theme to look closer or see things from another perspective. These are important discussions for the intended audience (tweens) as their understanding of the world and their place in it begins to shift. The relationship dynamics are interesting and genuine, moving between confusing, frustrating, tender and hurtful, all emotions true to the age and reality of becoming a young adult. The science fiction element is well incorporated and sheds light on Miranda's emotion growth throughout the story. The narrator's inflection and character voices were natural and entertaining. ( )
  LibbyHopfauf | Mar 18, 2014 |
I read this book in just a few hours. Miranda is abandoned by her friend Sal for unknown reasons. While she longs for the return of his friendship, she begins to make new friends. She is the kid-mixture of selfish and good, and her growth as a character comes from that place. When she begins to receive strange, mysterious notes, she at first disbelieves them until they begin to predict future events. The discovery of the notes and what they mean unveils the plot and its speculative elements in a subtle and intriguing way.

There was only on confounding moment for me, when Miranda talks with another kid about the concept of time travel and how it works. It's excellent kid speak, and I could picture a pair of kids saying exactly these things. However, even though I have an understanding of the theory of time travel, the kids attempt to describe it made my head spin. Their explanations over complicated the idea and I couldn't wrap my head around what they were trying to say, and I'm curious how younger reader would be able to decipher that conversation. It worked for the story (since Miranda was confused) and, as I said, was excellent kid speak.

On the whole, a very satisfying read. ( )
  andreablythe | Mar 16, 2014 |
I had read all the hype about this book and feel it was well deserved. Glad to have read it. Sadly I have never read A Wrinkle in Time and from all the references in this book and all the positive reviews - I am going to have to add it to my list. I would imagine my rating would be higher had I ready this in my childhood...and also having had read Wrinkle.

This book is well written and does not speak down to young readers. Fun to think about traveling through time. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 334 (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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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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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