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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"When You Reach Me"

by Rebecca Stead, YA, 2009, 199p, rating=4
Newberry Award Winner 2010

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, 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 what 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. 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. (Goodreads)

A breezy mystery sci fi teen book. The short chapters and clever $20,000 Pyramid game show-like titles gave you a quick foreshadow of the chapter's content. Miranda's point of view gave you adequate feel of the people and things around her. I found myself feeling the emotions that Miranda was feeling. I felt the love, confusion, anxiety, fear, and joy as she was experiencing them.

The mysterious element as I understand mirrors Madeleine L'Engle's book, A Wrinkle in Time. I haven't read it yet so I had no prior predisposition. That said, it was still fairly easy to figure it out. Even though I had the I know who dunnit moment, the journey getting there was actually quite fun because when it finally got confirmed in the end, it felt good saying to myself, "I knew it!". Plus, it was an ending to smile about (not the t-----y of course, but ...).

I liked the all around tone of the book. The family bond, the friendship exploration, and the aspect of service like that of the Good Samaritan. Also, the probing into finding individuality. Furthermore, the overall feel of everything coming to full circle type of thing was nice to read.

Truly a fun little book with a big mysterious secret and heart to tell.

1 comment:

  1. Teens act super cool, but I think they're still kids and enjoy fun books like this.


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