When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars ("Really Liked It")
Now THIS is the way it's done! I don't want to give away too much, but this book makes allusions to A Wrinkle in Time and let me just say, this is much better (I don't much care for AWiT). However, it is difficult to say what I like about the book without spoiling too much!
The book begins with a strange falling out between Miranda, our narrator, and her best friend Sal. Left without a single friend to fill the gap, Miranda has to readjust her world and life at school. In the midst of these new changes, she begins to receive - find, really - strange notes addressed to her. The notes are short, cryptic, and know a great deal about Miranda...including things that have yet to happen. The notes urge Miranda to not say anything to anyone, but reassure her that they are meant to save her friend's life. But which friend? When? And why?
The book unravels bit by bit as pieces begin to fit together. Readers can probably catch on to the mystery and conundrum before Miranda does, but only because we perceive the events within a narrowed scope, whereas she has her entire life's context to sort through. Miranda's honest and direct voice captures her audience from the get-go. I was surprised by how quickly I fell under the spell of this novel.
Miranda is 12 years old, and with such a young protagonist, it will probably most appeal to younger teen readers - middle school ages. I'm not entirely sure why it's necessary to take place in the 70s -- if anyone could speculate as to the contribution of the setting, I'd like to hear it.
Recommend: an enthusiastic YES!
Topics Discussed: Time Travel, Friendship, Honesty, Love
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