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When You Reach Me (2009)

by Rebecca Stead

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,8735191,523 (4.15)284
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s 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.

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» See also 284 mentions

English (516)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (518)
Showing 1-5 of 516 (next | show all)
My son recommended this book to me. It's a Yearling Newberry award-winner and recommended for ages 8-12. It is a homage to L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" so if you're not familiar with that book, some of it won't make sense. That said, I felt like the "Wrinkle in Time" reference is what makes this book work -- in a lazy kind of way. Without the references, the story still could have worked, but maybe with more work from the author in order to get the reader invested in the story. I guess it just didn't have the literary "pull" that "A Wrinkle in Time" has for me. ( )
  Marse | Dec 26, 2022 |
It's tough to classify this book, or even explain it. It's a rare, amazing story that reads like realistic fiction, but has a little science fiction thrown in. Mostly, it's an incredible mystery that is beautifully written. See, I can't describe it! I think fans of The London Eye Mystery will like it, as well as fans of A Wrinkle in Time, My One Hundred Adventures, and Marcelo in the Real World. If you like mysteries, read it. Just read it! ( )
  kamlibrarian | Dec 23, 2022 |
An absorbing "what if" story based in New York City and told by a pre-teen girl. I didn't think I would enjoy it that much, but found myself pleasantly proved wrong. I appreciated how the people were more than two dimensional characters, and were very much like people we know in real life, in their thoughts and actions. Nicely done. ( )
  fuzzi | Dec 21, 2022 |
About as formulaic as some of the more recent Newberys but none the worse for it. Having read Wrinkle helps make this one so good. ( )
  Jeffrey_G | Nov 22, 2022 |
Loved this book! Highly recommended it to my 6th graders as a spring break read! ( )
  SarahStir | Oct 23, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 516 (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 (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rebecca Steadprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blackall, SophieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gartnet, KateCover designersecondary 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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As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s 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.

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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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