When You Reach Me Audio CD – Audiobook, July 14, 2009
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A Junior Library Guild Selection
An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults
A best book of the year:
Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Booklist, Indies Choice
Named to Multiple State Award Lists
Five starred reviews
"[W]hen all the sidewalk characters from Miranda's Manhattan world converge amid mind-blowing revelations and cunning details, teen readers will circle back to the beginning and say,'Wow ... cool.'" —Kirkus Reviews, Starred review
"[T]he mental gymnastics required of readers are invigorating; and the characters, children, and adults are honest bits of humanity no matter in what place or time their souls rest." —Booklist, Starred review
"Closing revelations are startling and satisfying but quietly made, their reverberations giving plenty of impetus for the reader to go back to the beginning and catch what was missed." —The Horn Book Magazine, Starred review
"This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers." —School Library Journal, Starred review
"It's easy to imagine readers studying Miranda's story as many times as she's read L'Engle's, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises." —Publishers Weekly, Starred review
[T]he believable characters and unexpected ending invite readers to ponder the extraordinary that underlies the ordinary in this fictional world and in their own.” —The Washington Post
"Readers ... are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward." —The Wall Street Journal
“Incandescent.” —The Washington Post
"Smart and mesmerizing." —The New York Times
About the Author
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Heartfelt, complex, smart and fantastical- it's a mystery in many parts, including the bizarre language of middle-school age friendship and time travel. Highly recommended (for adults, not just kids).
Revolving around an old Dick Clark hosted game show seems a little gimmicky on the surface, but Stead manages it deftly by setting it as a soft backdrop and a framing device. With Pyramid chapter titles, i.e., Things You Count, Things You Push Away, Salty Things, etc, you have a clever and grounding way to deliver these episodic moments from Miranda's life and hold onto that tie to the game show and her mother's appearance on it, coming up that spring.
The notes, and the missing items, provide a fantastic puzzle for the reader to unravel. The personal problems Miranda has to deal with are simple by definition but complex and tricky in life. Figuring out who you are and trying to understand the people around you is something at which everyone, at every age, struggles. Miranda is on the cusp of something extraordinary with the notes and the eventual discovery, but she's also on that cusp of heading into her teenage years, that apex which everyone must traverse as you leave childhood.
Not only do I adore this book, I would’ve absolutely loved it when I was in the target age range. I loved it so much, just because it's an entertaining book to read, that, after returning my borrowed copy to the library, I immediately ordered the hardcover for my sons to read.
The tie in with A Wrinkle In Time, scientific theories and the huge mystery that keeps you hanging until the end makes this one novel that I tell my classes that I would want with me on a desert island, no joke. It is that great and I highly recommend that ANY person read this very beautiful and amazing piece of work. I love this book!
This book left me underwhelmed. The explanations of the time travel were gibberish, honestly. It's like they said, "This happens... then this happens!" No, that doesn't explain anything. You need to explain HOW it happens, not what happens.
And why did Marcus hit Sal? This is held up as a key moment in the book, yet even by the end, it's never explained.
Yes, the middle-grade heroine is quite likeable, but a lot of the book delves into the boring survey of "oh this is a cute trait of this character, so unlike others" and "oh this is a cute occurrence that happens on this street, observe it carefully!". It's like a sketch of what one can "see" and note in others. But it doesn't make a story. I've noticed a lot of those books lately. They try to outbid each other as who can come up with the most remarkable traits in people, society, and environment and everyday life. But there's little story or conflict.
My almost 12yr old daughter asked me to buy this for her. She has not finished, but says she's enjoying it. She can be picky, too. I will have her review the story itself, or if I decide to read it, which I just might after all of these great reviews.
This book, although written for middle schoolers is completely engaging - I couldn't put our down! Well deserving of the Newberry that it received. I'd definitely recommend it!
Top international reviews
At any rate, I'd read it in under three hours, and enjoyed it very much. From an adult perspective, it's more of a novella, which is fine, but, to my mind, the length was just right. I quite like reading (nearly) YA books from time to time. The audience forces authors to stick fairly closely to the point, avoiding too many digressions.
The story takes place in 1979 (or does it? hehe). Miranda (12) lives in New York City with her mother in an apartment. The story begins as, for reasons she knows not, her male friend (Sal) who she's known all her life no longer wants to talk to her. She makes some new friends and starts to receive bizarre notes on small scraps of paper.
The story develops quickly and, bizarrely, for me, having just finished, as noted, a mammoth science fiction trilogy, morphs into neat little SciFi tale. I'm not quite sure why the author set the book in 1979 - perhaps to avoid the characters having mobile phones (which they would do these days) and to avoid having to put too much in the book about `stranger danger' and the (what would now be seen as) malevolent overtones to someone sending messages to a 12-year-old girl.
At any rate, this is a delightful, insightful, clever, well-written, poignant book. Highly recommended to all readers from 10 to 100!
This is a short, easy to read piece of fiction, that is funny, moving and sad with some very profound things to say about the nature of friendship, and utterly, utterly brilliant to boot!
Have told my 12 yr old niece to read it too!