Thursday, March 7, 2013

When You Reach Me

By Rebecca Stead

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late.


This Newberry Medal winner is worth its weight in gold. I loved reading this book, reminding me a lot of Jerry Spinelli’s books, with a little science fiction twist to whet my imaginative needs. This book is fantastic and meticulously done, as is evidenced when you read the last pages and go “Oh! Holy cow.” I loved reading from Miranda’s perspective, living in this place where she can’t understand why her best friend stops talking to her and trying to find new friends in the meantime. It’s an amazing read about family, class distinctions, friendship, love, and courage. It’s a coming of age book that you won’t want to miss.  Well earned Newberry Medal winner.

I give it a 4 out of 5

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