When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

I have a friend who told me this was an amazing book. She was right. I had it on hold before it won the ALA Newbery Award. There was a long hold list even then. (Now that hold list is even longer.) I’m glad my friend told me about it last September so that I didn’t have to wait until next year to read it.

Basically Miranda is a girl who lives in New York City. Her favorite book is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. A lot happens one particular year. She and Sal aren’t friends anymore. Her mother is going on the TV Show $10,000 Pyramid. Richard, her mother’s boyfriend wants to be more than a boyfriend. She makes friends with more people at school. She refuses to read anything other than A Wrinkle in Time. And, she keeps getting these crazy notes from somebody from the future who is trying to save one of her friends. She doesn’t understand how it is all connected, but it is.

Brilliant book. When I finished, I had to reread some of the chapters so I could find those clues that are scattered around telling you all about what the ending will be…even though I didn’t see them until after I already knew what the ending was. It does deal with one horrifying moment at the end of the book. It is nothing worse than what many other books or PG movies have in them…but it is not something to take into consideration, especially for sensitive young readers. Older readers will think about what happened–but they will accept it and respect the power of the choices that were made to make that moment. Good, good book. 5 stars. No question.

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