Winner of the 2010 Newbery Medal.
By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighbourhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.
But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid 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 Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper.
The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realises that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that haven't even happened yet. 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.
When You Reach Me is a story about friendship and time. It's an intriguing puzzle with pieces that fit together in the most intricate and unexpected ways.
'One of the best children's books I have ever read and books of this sort do not drop out of the sky every day. They don't even drop out of the sky every year.' School Library Journal
Twelve-year-old Miranda, a latchkey kid whose single mother is a law school dropout, narrates this complex novel, a work of science fiction grounded in the nitty-gritty of Manhattan life in the late 1970s. Miranda's story is set in motion by the appearance of cryptic notes that suggest that someone is watching her and that they know things about her life that have not yet happened. She's especially freaked out by one that reads: "I'm coming to save your friend's life, and my own." Over the course of her sixth-grade year, Miranda details three distinct plot threads: her mother's upcoming appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid; the sudden rupture of Miranda's lifelong friendship with neighbor Sal; and the unsettling appearance of a deranged homeless person dubbed "the laughing man." Eventually and improbably, these strands converge to form a thought-provoking whole. Stead (First Light) accomplishes this by making every detail count, including Miranda's name, her hobby of knot tying and her favorite book, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. 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. Ages 9 14.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read! (This is coming from and 11 year old) I just finished it today, and it had amazing twists. I thought I had it all figured out but then another twist came and I realised that I was very wrong. This is a must read!!!! I recommend it for ages 9+
My neighbor gave me this book a few months back, and I didn’t bother to read it until I had nothing else to do. It was the best decision I’ve ever made - I’ve read it countless times, and we read it for Class Novel after I badgered my teacher relentlessly for at least a week. This story is amazing - with a gripping plot, concepts of time, and twists like no other book I’ve ever read. Six out of five. You should definitely read this book.
Do not judge by its blurb. If you want a thrilling adventure, dystopian twists and a little drama, here’s the book. It’s a slow burner, and I thought it was one of these sappy friendship books but NO!!!!!! THIS IS LEGENDARY!!!!!!