When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

bookcover.phpThis is one of those books that people kept telling me I “had to read”, which is always off-putting. First of all, it is about a middle school girl and I am a man in my forties. Also, judging a book by its cover, it looks like historical fiction and I tend toward Fantasy and Science Fiction. But I trust my 11 year old daughter’s taste in literature, so when she told me she loved it I gave it a try. I’m happy I did.

This Newbery winner from 2010 is a fun little puzzle of a book. While it sits somewhere between the genres of mystery and science fiction, this book could be appreciated by any adult who spent some formative years during the 1970s. Set in Manhattan, it follows a few months in the life of a sixth grader named Miranda. Miranda lives with her single mother and is tasked with helping her prepare for an appearance on the “$20,000 Pyramid” game show. Her mom is convinced that their lives will be better if only she can win the big prize.

Miranda’s ordinary life takes a turn for the weird when a boy randomly punches her best friend, Sal. Miranda soon meets the bully, Marcus, at school. She befriends him while discussing Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Marcus is convinced that time travel is possible but points out discrepancies in L’Engle’s plot. Miranda soon begins to find cryptic notes around her house and inside her belongings, notes that may have come…FROM THE FUTURE! Her life begins to spiral out of control as she tries to make sense of the oddness.

This book is an intriguing examination of finding meaning in the strange little coincidences that happen around us and the difficulty of having and keeping friends. It is still totally relevant to this 40 year old’s life and I would presume, yours as well.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.


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