Title: When You Reach Me
Author: Rebecca Stead
Release Date: July 14, 2009
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Rating: 4 out of 5
Miranda’s best friend is no longer speaking to her and she doesn’t know why. All she knows is that it began when some random guy punched him for no reason when they were walking home from school. What’s more, Miranda has started receiving mysterious notes from someone that seems to know more about her than they should, in some cases more than even she knows. As Miranda starts reaching out to new friends, she learns a lot about herself in this sweet story.
I’m not much of a fan of middle grade fiction, which is fiction that usually features middle school age kids. (YA usually has high school age characters). The protagonists are often too young for me to sympathize with and I just don’t have a lot of interest in the genre. However, I have heard amazing things about When You Reach Me, mostly on Twitter and through other bloggers’ reviews. People rave about this book, and it made me curious enough to accept a review offer, just so I could see what the book was about. I was surprised to find it was an impressive novel that is definitely worth reading for its creative story and appealing main character.
When You Reach Me is a very well-written novel. Stead’s prose is spare, yet elegant and really draws the reader into the story. The Madeleine L’Engle classic novel A Wrinkle in Time is heavily featured in this book. In fact, I can’t say I’d recommend reading When You Reach Me if you aren’t at least familiar with this book. Part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is because of the constant A Wrinkle in Time references, and the ingenious way that Stead weaves it into the story. It’s an amazing thing she does which proves how talented of a writer Rebecca Stead is.
Miranda was a wonderfully drawn character that I enjoyed getting to know. It’s really difficult to write believable children – often times, they are too precocious and complicated. Stead does a wonderful job getting into the mind of a child, which made it a pleasure to read.
When You Reach Me is a sweet book with a wonderful mystery at its heart. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a quick light read, even if (like me) you usually don’t pick up books in this genre. It’s a cute novel that’s worth reading for its well-developed characters and simple lessons about how to treat people and be a friend. It’s a great book for children and adults alike!