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When You Reach Me (Yearling Newbery) Paperback – December 28, 2010
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From the Publisher
Winner of the Newbery Medal
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
Rebecca Stead is the Newbery Award Winning author of When You Reach Me, Goodbye Stranger, First Light, and Liar & Spy. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Top customer reviews
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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.
Rebecca Stead, if you're reading this, I wrote a fan letter to Madeleine L'Engle in 1985. She answered--and her signature was just the way you describe.
I'll definitely be looking for more of Rebecca Stead's books at the library!