When You Reach Me by Rebecca SteadWhen You Reach Me by Rebecca Steadsticker-burst

When You Reach Me

byRebecca Stead

Hardcover | July 14, 2009

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This Newbery Medal winner that has a fantastic puzzle at its heart has been called “smart and mesmerizing,” (The New York Times), “superb” (The Wall Street Journal), and “incandescent” (The Washington Post).
When Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, she doesn’t know what to do.
The notes tell her that she must write a letter, a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone—not even her best friend, Sal.
It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that’s the case, then Miranda has an even bigger problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.
“Lovely and almost impossibly clever.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

Winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction
A New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book

REBECCA STEAD is the author of When You Reach Me, which was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Newbery Medal and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction, and Liar & Spy, which was also a New York Times bestseller, won the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction, and was on multiple state master lists and best of the year ...
Title:When You Reach MeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.56 × 5.81 × 0.85 inPublished:July 14, 2009Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385737424

ISBN - 13:9780385737425

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exciting, Captivating, Entertaining I read When You Reach Me in one sitting, which is rare for me. I could not put it down. It has one of the best first chapters I've ever come across, and the pace is constantly rushing forward. Rebecca Stead hooks you into the story before you finish the first page, and the pay off is incredible. Just an absolute pleasure to read.
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book This book is always my favourite. I met this book when I was in grade 7 or 6. I have read this book over and over. I literally read it every year! I really love how I have to think about the ending when I am reading. It took me three or four times of reading over to understand the book. It's the best book ever.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different This book is very good. It was definitley a different book, with characters I found somewhat hard to understand. I could see the story happening before my eyes, even though some parts were really boring and stretched out. When You Reach Me is a good book, one worth reading, but not one of my personal favourites.
Date published: 2012-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quirky Reason for Reading: I'm working my way through reviewing all the Newbery winners. Miranda has been best friends with Sal since they were in diapers, but one day Sal gets punched walking home from school and their friendship ends. Miranda starts running into the boy who punched him, Marcus, and they become acquaintances. Miranda loves the book A Wrinkle in Time and reads it over and over and over. Nobody can get her to try a different book and Marcus starts talking to her about the science behind the time-space travel component of the book. On Miranda's block there is a strange homeless man who talks about strange things, yells things out, talks to her, calls her "smart girl" and every now and then kicks his leg out into the street. He also sleeps with his head wedged under a mailbox. Oh, and Miranda also receives strange messages from an unknown person asking her to do things but most specifically to write the sender a letter. It isn't until the end of the book that all these elements come together and make perfect sense to Miranda. An enjoyable book. The science fiction element is light and comes into play towards the end to explain all the strange events. The book also explores friendships as Miranda has relationships with a boy she's known from being a baby, a bully, a friendly neighbourhood woman, a crotchety old man, a girl who is made fun of at school, and a girl who has been dumped by the snooty popular girl, as well as the snooty girl herself. All of these people at some point Miranda befriends and she learns a lot about how appearances can be deceiving and to get to know the inside person before making judgments. Though sometimes a person's true self can a disappointment. I thought the story was well-written, the characters likable and interesting. I read the book quickly and thought the ending was clever. The story never went past good, fine or ok with me though. From a Newbery winner I expect more.
Date published: 2010-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutly Loved It I love Madeleine L'Engle and her book A Wrinkle In Time. This book makes numerous references to both. When I met Madeleine L'Engle at a conference a few years ago she stated that her characters are alive to her, and every now and again she will realize something new happened in their life. This book has that feel; as I read it, and even after finishing, I found myself thinking about the characters - where they are now, what they are up to. I think L'Engle would have loved that about this book. The story takes place in a very small geographic region in New York City, focusing around a 6th grade girl Miranda, her friends and family. She finds a note indicating that the author is trying to save her friend's life and their own life. The author of the note indicates that they know the future and give her dates and times of events yet to happen to prove they are telling the truth. What they are asking for in return is that Miranda tells them her story, specifically that she write it out and when the time comes she will know who to give it to. The story is wonderfully written from Miranda's perspective, looking back on the past few months. It is about lifting the veil between what we perceive and what is real, what is actual and what is possible. It is about the potential in humans for growth and change. C.S. Lewis stated "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face." This book helps to wipe some of the dirt and grime off the glass and allows us to see a little more clearly. Yes it is true the story became predictable, especially for a fan of L'Engle, but the way it happens still makes it worth reading. It is a wonderful book - a book about hope, a book about change and a book about coming into yourself. If Stead's writings continue to ask questions like this one, does she have the potential to become a favourite author of mine, and maybe even a legend like L'Engle?
Date published: 2010-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Perfectly Spun Story Over the weekend, I curled with Rebecca Stead’s Newbery Medal winning book WHEN YOU REACH ME and found it enchanting and completely delightful. Like last year’s winner, Neil Gaiman’s THE GRAVEYARD BOOK which alluded to Kipling’s THE JUNGLE BOOK, Stead writes in the tradition of Madeleine L’Engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME. For it is twelve-year-old Melinda’s favourite book. Like a security blanket, she carries her battered copy everywhere she goes. Considering that she is no longer speaking to her best friend Sal and there are strange people lurking under mailboxes, it is no wonder that she needs something familiar close by. I don’t want to tell you the plot or the premise of this novel, because I think it will give pieces of it away. Instead, I will convey to you how this story is told. This is a story to be read without a full understanding of what is happening, because watching it unfold is part of the joy. Melinda is telling us a story, but the story itself isn’t directed at us, but at someone who has asked her to write him a letter of the events that had led up to a particular moment in time. So, Melinda takes us back to the moment where she felt like everything changed and by telling her story shows that seemingly insignificant people and events are sometimes more significant than we are aware. And that if we are lucky, we can see when the veil of time and space is lifted and how everything interconnects with everything else. I recommend this for anyone who enjoyed THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX because it has the same kind of depth that that novel had while still being an easy read. Stead’s use of L’Engle’s classic will not only bring a new generation of readers to the Time Quartet Series, but inspire and older ones to return to that wrinkle in time when we read a book that helped us understand ourselves and the world a little better.
Date published: 2010-02-09

Read from the Book

Things You Keep in a Box So Mom got the postcard today. It says Congratulations in big curly letters, and at the very top is the address of Studio TV-15 on West 58th Street. After three years of trying, she has actually made it. She's going to be a contestant on The $20,000 Pyramid, which is hosted by Dick Clark. On the postcard there's a list of things to bring. She needs some extra clothes in case she wins and makes it to another show, where they pretend it's the next day even though they really tape five in one afternoon. Barrettes are optional, but she should definitely bring some with her. Unlike me, Mom has glossy red hair that bounces around and might obstruct America's view of her small freckled face. And then there's the date she's supposed to show up, scrawled in blue pen on a line at the bottom of the card: April 27, 1979. Just like you said. I check the box under my bed, which is where I've kept your notes these past few months. There it is, in your tiny handwriting: April 27th: Studio TV-15, the words all jerky-looking, like you wrote them on the subway. Your last "proof." I still think about the letter you asked me to write. It nags at me, even though you're gone and there's no one to give it to anymore. Sometimes I work on it in my head, trying to map out the story you asked me to tell, about everything that happened this past fall and winter. It's all still there, like a movie I can watch when I want to. Which is never. Things That Go Missing Mom has swiped a big paper calendar from work and Scotch-taped the month of April to the kitchen wall. She used a fat green marker, also swiped from work, to draw a pyramid on April 27, with dollar signs and exclamation points all around it. She went out and bought a fancy egg timer that can accurately measure a half minute. They don't have fancy egg timers in the supply closet at her office. April twenty-seventh is also Richard's birthday. Mom wonders if that's a good omen. Richard is Mom's boyfriend. He and I are going to help Mom practice every single night, which is why I'm sitting at my desk instead of watching after-school TV, which is a birthright of every latchkey child. "Latchkey child" is a name for a kid with keys who hangs out alone after school until a grown-up gets home to make dinner. Mom hates that expression. She says it reminds her of dungeons, and must have been invented by someone strict and awful with an unlimited child-care budget. "Probably someone German," she says, glaring at Richard, who is German but not strict or awful. It's possible. In Germany, Richard says, I would be one of the Schlusselkinder, which means "key children." "You're lucky," he tells me. "Keys are power. Some of us have to come knocking." It's true that he doesn't have a key. Well, he has a key to his apartment, but not to ours. Richard looks the way I picture guys on sailboats--tall, blond, and very tucked-in, even on weekends. Or maybe I picture guys on sailboats that way because Richard loves to sail. His legs are very long, and they don't really fit under our kitchen table, so he has to sit kind of sideways, with his knees pointing out toward the hall. He looks especially big next to Mom, who's short and so tiny she has to buy her belts in the kids' department and make an extra hole in her watchband so it won't fall off her arm. Mom calls Richard Mr. Perfect because of how he looks and how he knows everything. And every time she calls him Mr. Perfect, Richard taps his right knee. He does that because his right leg is shorter than his left one. All his right-foot shoes have little platforms nailed to the bottom so that his legs match. In bare feet, he limps a little. "You should be grateful for that leg," Mom tells him. "It's the only reason we let you come around." Richard has been "coming around" for almost two years now. We have exactly twenty-one days to get Mom ready for the game show. So instead of watching television, I'm copying words for her practice session tonight. I write each word on one of the white index cards Mom swiped from work. When I have seven words, I bind the cards together with a rubber band she also swiped from work. I hear Mom's key in the door and flip over my word piles so she can't peek. "Miranda?" She clomps down the hall--she's on a clog kick lately--and sticks her head in my room. "Are you starving? I thought we'd hold dinner for Richard." "I can wait." The truth is I've just eaten an entire bag of Cheez Doodles. After-school junk food is another fundamental right of the latchkey child. I'm sure this is true in Germany, too. "You're sure you're not hungry? Want me to cut up an apple for you?" "What's a kind of German junk food?" I ask her. "Wiener crispies?" She stares at me. "I have no idea. Why do you ask?" "No reason." "Do you want the apple or not?" "No, and get out of here--I'm doing the words for later." "Great." She smiles and reaches into her coat pocket. "Catch." She lobs something toward me, and I grab what turns out to be a bundle of brand-new markers in rainbow colors, held together with a fat rubber band. She clomps back toward the kitchen. Richard and I figured out a while ago that the more stuff Mom swipes from the office supply closet, the more she's hating work. I look at the markers for a second and then get back to my word piles. Mom has to win this money.

Editorial Reviews

Winner of the Newbery Medal A Junior Library Guild Selection An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults A best book of the year: Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Booklist, Indies Choice Named to Multiple State Award ListsFive starred reviews"[W]hen all the sidewalk characters from Miranda's Manhattan world converge amid mind-blowing revelations and cunning details, teen readers will circle back to the beginning and say,'Wow ... cool.'" —Kirkus Reviews, Starred review"[T]he mental gymnastics required of readers are invigorating; and the characters, children, and adults are honest bits of humanity no matter in what place or time their souls rest." —Booklist, Starred review"Closing revelations are startling and satisfying but quietly made, their reverberations giving plenty of impetus for the reader to go back to the beginning and catch what was missed." —The Horn Book Magazine, Starred review"This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers." —School Library Journal, Starred review"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." —Publishers Weekly, Starred review"Absorbing." —People"Readers ... are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward." —The Wall Street Journal“Incandescent.” —The Washington Post"Smart and mesmerizing." —The New York Times