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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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English (362)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (365)
Showing 1-5 of 362 (next | show all)
A fast read that you should slow down to fully appreciate. Or reread. Beautifully written, with themes of friendship & parenting & coming-of-age, etc., with mystery, adventure, time travel (magic realism?), poignancy, and even humor. What's not to love?

I love how the title of Miranda's favorite book isn't revealed immediately - the reader gets the satisfaction of seeing how early she or he can figure it out. Of course I got it on the very first reference. ;) Yes, it's a minor attraction of the book, but it is a good example of how rewarding a careful read can be.

Don't read passively - books are not TV! ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This is an absolutely fabulous story! "When You Reach Me" is one of my all time favorite books. Miranda lives with her mom in the city. She is experiencing a falling out with her best friend Sal, and to add intrigue to the plot line, the book often circles back to a strange laughing man who hangs out on the corner close to her apartment. This book is reminicent of the Time Traveler's wife, but is written for a young adult / tween audience. I highly recommend it as a great personal read, a read aloud for your intermediate class, or as a literature circle book. A really really great book! ( )
  mmeharvey | Apr 6, 2015 |
Miranda always hangs out with her best friend Sal. One day, as they are walking home from school, Sal is punched by another kid. Every day after that, Sal seems distant to Miranda. To make things weirder, Miranda starts receiving strange notes from someone who asks a favor from her. The stranger asks her to write him a letter of all events that lead up to one fateful day. But who is this author? Why does he seem to know so much before it happens? In the end, friendships are made, truths are revealed, and life becomes so much richer.

Personal Reflection: I didn't know if I was going to like this book or not when I saw it on the shelf. After reading it though, I can honestly say it was not what I was expecting. This is a wonderful book about friendship, family, and sacrifice. What I really didn't expect was the time traveling twist. This is a really nice book!

Extensions: 1. Have the children write down what they would do if they could travel back in time. Where would they go, who are they with, and what might they change? How might this effect the present?

2. The chapter titles in this book are different categories. For example chapter 1 is titled "Things You Keep in a Box." (This is due to part of the story where Miranda's mother is a contestant on a game show.) Using some of the chapter titles, have students come up with some answers of items that fit each category. ( )
  mnewby17 | Apr 3, 2015 |
Loved it! ( )
  Verkruissen | Mar 25, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 362 (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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