When You Reach Me is a Newbery Medal-winning science fiction and mystery novel by They expanded on the initial concepts and published When You Reach Me on July 14, , under Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House. "Like A Wrinkle in Time (Miranda's favorite book), When You Reach Me far surpasses the usual whodunit or sci-fi adventure to become an incandescent. When You Reach Me book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Miranda is an ordinary sixth grader, until she starts receivi .

When You Reach Me Book

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Perfectly voiced, mysterious sci-fi coming-of-age tale. Read Common Sense Media's When You Reach Me review, age rating, and parents guide. Rebecca Stead, writer of children's books living in New York City. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead Four mysterious notes change. Miranda's world. Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of When You Reach Me. says that her students "became obsessed detectives when I read this book to.

The idea began as she read a New York Times article about a guy walking around Denver, Colorado with amnesia.

After reaching a hospital and being put under hypnosis, he remembered exactly two things about himself: She did address the allusions to A Wrinkle in Time. She included these for two reasons. She wanted to describe how books can feel so personal. How they can make a reader feel territorial. I am guilty of this. I like to pretend such-and-such book was written for my eyes only. I will only reluctantly loan or even mention some books to others.

She also wanted to warn readers that there would be difficult and potentially technical topics coming ahead. The third reason I discern must have been too obvious for her to mention or considered part of the second reason: Rebecca started out as a criminal defense attorney, because it was a clearer path than writing.

You will remember when Harry receives notice that he is a wizard and has been accepted into Hogwarts. How do you decide you want to become a writer? It is impractical! This spoke to me. I have been wondering lately about a letter to direct my life.

Did it get lost in the mail? Am I going to have to take a risk without it? View all 5 comments. Sep 20, Britany rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was so good! This is a book that kept coming up over the years in different book podcasts that I listened to. I finally got to it as I was looking for a shorter audiobook to finish before I leave for vacation. This fit the bill perfectly. For some reason, I didn't realize it was a middle grade book, but certainly left nothing out for me.

Miranda is your average 12 year old girl trying to find her way in NYC. Her mom is auditioning and practicing for the Pyramid game show which was the i This book was so good! Her mom is auditioning and practicing for the Pyramid game show which was the icing on the cake for this one! How fun!! Miranda and her friends know all the major plot points on school and coming home from school. She starts getting notes from someone and has to figure out the mystery and leave a clue behind.

The story is fascinating and explores some major themes that are fleshed out with diversity and inclusion. The best part is that the story gets better and better. By the time you reach the end you want to start it all over again. View all 4 comments. Jul 15, Donalyn rated it it was amazing Shelves: I was a sixth grader in In seventh grade, I wrote a book report on A Wrinkle In Time, which remains on my favorite books-of-all-time list to this day. I have not read L'Engle's classic in a long time.

The books we love from childhood are as much about who we were when we read them as it is about the books themselves. The book takes place in , a I was a sixth grader in The book takes place in , and the protagonist, Miranda, is a sixth grader, just like I was. Her favorite book, is A homeless man takes up residence outside Miranda's apartment building. Another boy punches Sal in the stomach for no reason.

Miranda receives a cryptic note tucked inside a library book. The notes continue, each one revealing that the writer knows details about Miranda's life no one could And yes, A Wrinkle In Time plays a key role in the story. The blogosphere overflows with reviews praising this book. Don't read anymore of them, go to the bookstore, instead!

Stead mentions in her goodreads profile that she loves to give every book she reads five stars. When You Reach Me deserves more. View 1 comment. And karen gave it 5 stars!

'When You Reach Me' by Rebecca Stead Book Club Discussion Questions

View 2 comments. Jan 23, Sarah rated it it was ok Shelves: I liked this book, though I'm not sure I can jump on the bandwagon of rave reviews. The writing is well-done, and I love the language - it's quite poetic in places.

The main character is an observant, thoughtful, intelligent young woman who is very likeable. The subject of the story - centered on the idea of time-travel - is pleasantly different from the popular YA literature that currently crowds bookstore and library shelves zombies, vampires, etc. What I did not like about the novel is that I liked this book, though I'm not sure I can jump on the bandwagon of rave reviews. What I did not like about the novel is that it takes too long to get into the real meat of the story, coming very close to "boring" territory.

Halfway through the book I was still waiting for the author to get me to the point. And then it all seems to end rather abruptly with little development of the other characters or their stories. I was left feeling vaguely dissatisfied when I finished reading the last page. I wanted more, and not in the way that a really great book leaves you wanting more. I just felt like something was missing.

View all 3 comments. Jul 20, George Jankovic rated it it was amazing. I love middle-grade books. The quality is usually as good as with adult books, yet they are so cute, fresh and easy-to-read.

They also attack problems in life head on. They are rarely politically-correct. Kids don't beat around the bush and neither do the books for them.

Here are examples of wonderful chapter headings: Things you keep in a box Things you hide Things that sneak up on you At times that first part is in I love middle-grade books. Things you keep in a box Things you hide Things that sneak up on you At times that first part is interesting, at times slow as life can sometimes be: Then things heat up big time when the mystery kicks in.

It's not hard to guess how the letters are sent, but by whom, why? I guessed who the sender is after the second letter and who the sender was after the third, but wasn't sure. The book kept me on my toes. And I didn't get the why until much later.

The story then just gets better and better, and more personal.

And the end is amazing. My eyes got teary when Miranda gave birthday presents to her mom and the mom's bf. And when she thought of the implications her letter would have on the mystery person. A wonderful book. And did I mention those chapter headings? Here are a few more: Things you keep secret Things that smell Things you push away Messy things Things you left behind Difficult things I highly recommend this book to everyone.

My son loved it, too. May 16, Kate Willis rated it really liked it Shelves: Soak that title in. Have you ever heard anything so unique and beautiful? The inside of the book is even more so. I knew it right away from the very originally named chapter titles and the use of second person perspective. Hats off to the author--no one ever does that!

I knew even more with the odd clues and the references to A Wrinkle in Time. This book left me stunned and thoughtful for a week afterward. There were sweet moments to the story--working at a restaurant with friends, baking a ridi Soak that title in. It was also heartwarming to see how she and Richard were totally in cahoots. I loved how, through the events that happened, Miranda learned to love those around her in small but tangible ways prime example: It was especially neat to see how her opinion of certain characters changed as she looked at them in a more nuanced way prime example: This book was next-level sci-fi--seriously poignant and utterly fascinating.

I liked the emphasis and value it placed on both friendship and self-sacrifice, and I was pretty moved by the end of it. Two big things that stood out to me as possible problems, especially for young readers, were racism portrayed as wrong and a view spoiler [heartbreaking death hide spoiler ] though it was handled tastefully. I still think about the letter you asked me to write.

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. Which is never. Altogether, this book was a one-of-a-kind, amazing read. View all 16 comments. Jan 27, Tatiana rated it really liked it Shelves: Actually, I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying this book.

This is why: It's a little hard to give a synopsis of the story. And then Miranda start Actually, I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying this book. And then Miranda starts finding mysterious notes that plead her to write down all details of the events leading to Sal's estrangement and those that happen immediately after. The writer of the notes is adamant that these details will help to save someone's life What follows is a very peculiar mix of mystery, adventure, and time-travel, a story about friendship, family, and growing-up.

I am not sure what exactly I liked about the book, I just know that I couldn't put it down. I think it rightfully deserves the Newberry Medal it was awarded.

View all 9 comments. Nov 08, Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: When Miranda's mother unexpectedly fell pregnant during college, she put her studies on hold and took time out to care for her baby. Twelve years later mother and daughter are poor but happy together. Miranda is a good girl, but like many her age her world is small and revolves mainly around herself. When strange notes appear which tell her about things that will happen in the future, she is intrigued.

As she tries to solve the mystery she is gradually drawn out of herself, and for the first time she understands the needs of those around her. This book is a little like Spinelli's Stargirl. It helps you to value living in the present moment, gradually removing the veil of selfishness that prevents you from seeing the world and the people around you. It is a puzzle that gradually pieces together, only truly coming clear on the last page.

It's brilliantly structured and crafted in clear prose, and when you reach the end you realise that every detail was important I'd recommend this for relatively mature readers who can handle a mystery that may at times appear worse than it is, they can be assured that the resolution is as inspiring as it is surprising. Rebecca Stead's story is enjoyable, enthralling and leaves you with something positive that you'd like to invest in your life. Dec 22, smetchie rated it it was amazing Recommended to smetchie by: It's a time travelling story.

It will remind you of other time travelling stories. But that's just the box.

What's inside is bona fide gold. Newbery medal and all It was a delightful surprise. Miranda is twelve and lives in NYC with her mom.

Her mom has rules about city living like never show your money on the street and always have your key out before you reach the front door. But Miranda has a trick of her own.

Also, I don't even have a watch and I am probably not worth mugging. And I've discovered that most people I'm afraid of are actually very friendly. If she enjoys it even half as much as I did, I'll be thrilled to pieces.

Mar 28, Monica Edinger rated it it was amazing Shelves: My New York Times review.

A blog post about reading it aloud to my fourth graders with links to their own blog posts. Lisa Eggers. When You Reach Me is best enjoyed when the reader goes in without knowing much. But I can reveal that the novel dwells on how a small act can profoundly affect those around you, for good or ill. Miranda and her friends Sal, Annemarie, Colin, Marcus Heilbronner, and Julia — whether in their pettiness or superciliousness or self-absorbed cruelty or bad-boy misunderstood pose — will strike the reader as real kids, with all the rough edges and inexplicable kindnesses and cruelties that that implies.

So why four stars and not five? Still, very much recommended.

View all 21 comments. Apr 05, Stephen rated it it was ok Shelves: Going right in between "okay" and "I liked it" on this one. On the good side, this is a clever YA emphasis on the young mystery that is fairly well paced and a good ending. I also thought the discussions about time were pretty good and may interest younger readers in wanting to learn more. On the negative side, I didn't really like the characters and the prose, while good, was not as engaging as I would have liked.

That could very well be simply the result of its aiming for a younge 2. That could very well be simply the result of its aiming for a younger target audience. However, for me, it kept me from rating it higher. Mar 24, Tamora Pierce rated it it was amazing Shelves: While I label this great book to be published in July science fiction, that element is not the most obvious part of the story.

Rather it's the story of Miranda, who doesn't understand why her best friend from the floor below her has cut her off since the day a big kid punched him in the stomach.

We follow her through school as she tries to make friends with the well-to-do Annamarie and Colin, tries to sort out Julia's emnity, and together with her mother's boyfriend helps her mother to pr While I label this great book to be published in July science fiction, that element is not the most obvious part of the story.

We follow her through school as she tries to make friends with the well-to-do Annamarie and Colin, tries to sort out Julia's emnity, and together with her mother's boyfriend helps her mother to prepare for a TV game show with a big money prize. With all this going on, there is one more mystery: The notes add an element of suspense that hangs over the entire book.

The kids' feuds are believable; the presence of the homeless man they call the laughing man add another dark note what keeps the tension subtly on the increase, until I was gripping the book with white-knuckled hands, wanting to know what it all meant.

Keep this book in mind for next month, because it's a read you won't forget! Jan 26, Lisa rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Holy cow. I did not see this coming. This was fantastic. This is going straight to my best of all time list.

Very original, awesome setting. A very smart book. Great writing. LOVED it. Can't wait to read it again. Read it again. Just as good the second time. My fourth read! Always amazing, but this time was really cool. My niece is at my house for a few days. She has to read this over the summer for school!

We stayed up all night reading it right to the end. We both loved it. My vo WOW. My voice is completely shot and my throat is raw from 2 solid hours of out-loud reading, but it was worth it.

I always do. I really tried not to. Gianna was cool about it. She knows her aunt is a leaky faucet!

When You Reach Me

I'll always remember staying up late and snuggling with Gianna and reading this book, and how excited she was when she put it all together.

I can't say it enough: View all 22 comments. Aug 17, Toni rated it it was amazing Shelves: I loved this book and wish I'd read it as a child. Miranda is a year old girl with a very busy mum. She calls herself 'a latchkey kid' as her Mum can't afford childcare and Miranda has to walk to school and let herself in later.

Miranda's mum would like to go to a law school to help disadvantaged people but that's another thing they don't have money for. The book is in the form of a letter Miranda writes for a future time traveller she is obsessed with Madeleine L'Engle's book 'A Wrinkle in I loved this book and wish I'd read it as a child.

The book is in the form of a letter Miranda writes for a future time traveller she is obsessed with Madeleine L'Engle's book 'A Wrinkle in time' and there's a mystery we figure out while reading about Miranda's life. The reason why I loved this book so much is that Miranda's life in parts was so similar to mine at that age. Plus, it's a kind thoughtful story about growing up and magic moments when we suddenly understand life and other people a bit better.

The novel is a bit of a mystery, as well, as it focuses on the identity of the mysterious letter writer contacting sixth-grader Miranda. There are other elements woven in, additionally, including A Wrinkle in Time , some time travel, and Jewish culture. As a whole, this book had much to discuss in a classroom as far as plot, characters, and setting, despite being a qui When You Reach Me is a middle grades science fiction novel set in the late 20th century in the Upper West Side of New York City.

As a whole, this book had much to discuss in a classroom as far as plot, characters, and setting, despite being a quick read. Good for a middle school audience, but not exceptional otherwise. I listened to the audiobook edition. Jul 17, Catie Currie rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was such a good book!

I've learned to be wary of Newberry winners because, for some reason, they tend to be awful, but this one was so wonderful! It was well-written, touched on a lot of sticky issues in a really open, but tactful way, and the first person narration felt very authentic. The "twist" was fairly obvious to an adult, but I have no doubt that lots of kids' jaws dropped. I will definitely be recommending this book to all the middle schoolers I know. Aug 15, Shannon rated it really liked it Recommends it for: This is the newest Newbery Medal Award Winner and I had actually wanted to read it before it had been nominated.

This is a cleverly written "slice of life" tale that transcends age, gender, and race and is a great story that anyone and everyone can enjoy. This book twists and turns and meanders about in such a fascinating way that you're quickly pulled into Miranda's and her friends' lives and what it's like to grow up in New York in the late '70s.

Some of the observations that the auth 4. Some of the observations that the author made were so random yet nostalgic for me that I felt transported back to elementary school.

I connected with the characters in a way that doesn't happen all that often with children's books for me anymore, and I'm not sure if that's because I'm getting older or if I'm just not reading that many great children's books anymore. This sort of reminded me of how I felt when I read Roald Dahl; he didn't dumb things down for kids and he knew how to write a great story.

T he only reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because of the main conclusion at the end. I think I wanted something a little more realistic and I was hoping the author was going to tie things up in a different way than I saw playing out.

Don't get me wrong though, the end didn't spoil the book for me, I just felt like things could have gone differently. I think a lot of people will enjoy this book for years to come; it's funny, heart-warming, at times sad, and has a great mystery as well.

This is one book that I can say is totally deserving of its award!

Apr 21, Jackie "the Librarian" rated it really liked it Shelves: I just finished this, and I'm feeling like I missed something. So many people are raving about this, but I don't see it. I liked the New York setting, the kids running around on their own with latch keys, and the visits to the sub shop at lunch time.

The friendships and characters were good, but didn't seem remarkable. The story is about Miranda, who lives with her mom in New York, and whose favorite book is A Wrinkle in Time , which is one of my favorite books, too. Miranda and her mom's boyfriend help her practice. Miranda's friendship with downstairs neighbor Sal is suffering, and she's not sure why. And someone is leaving her weird little notes that have her freaking out. And this kid, Marcus, who punched Sal for no reason one time, suddenly is talking to her.

And then, there's the time travel stuff. Not much. I'm still wondering if it really works, in this book I'm thinking I missed something, that I'd benefit from a re-reading. Why do I think that? Because, I'm wondering about alternate timelines, which isn't good, is it?

Shouldn't I be thinking about friendship, and sacrifice, and stuff? Newbery winner View all 10 comments.

Jan 26, Lightreads rated it really liked it Shelves: Tiny, tremendous book! True story — I was reading this morning in the waiting room at the doctor's office. I'd spent the whole train ride up bitching to myself about how these guys are always overscheduled and without fail they're running at least half an hour behind. And I'm all, ". New York, Twelve-year-old Miranda starts getting notes that say things like, "I'm coming to save your friend's life. Miranda is a perfect twelve-year-old, and this book does a whole lot of sixth-grader relationship work in a very small space.

And behind that and the wonderful cast of characters is another story, a creepier, scarier, sadder one. It didn't matter that I'd figured out most of it, because I still got chills when things started snapping together. A book about A Wrinkle in Time , and growing up, and moments of time like diamonds, crystallized forever.

Just tremendous. Feb 22, Carol rated it really liked it. I had heard lots of good things about When You Reach Me. I read several excellent reviews about it. So I waited a bit to hear how the group liked it. They liked it just fine. I'm quite impressed that The Book Thieves got the story.

Plot Summary

It's not an easy conceptualization. But it is good! There's rumor's that lots of adults are choosing Young Adult books to read these days.

I loved how the parent figures were an important part to the story as a whole. Miranda's mother and her boyfriend play vital roles in her life and though they might not know everything that is going on you can tell through the pages that they love her dearly.

Then there is the atmosphere of the school and Miranda's classmates. I didn't grow up in or in New York but I felt the atmosphere and the tone of the relationships so well that I got caught up in Miranda's plight easily.

Throughout the story Miranda is reading her favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time. This book is a kind of homage to A Wrinkle in Time. By the way if you haven't read that book yet you should, it's excellent too. What makes the story so great is the little things. Seeing Miranda help her mom prepare for the game show, the description of Sal playing basketball every day, Miranda talking about time travel with Marcus, the boys who taunt people across the street, the weird shapes on Miranda's bathroom floor, Colin hiding the bread and I could go on and on.

It reflects real life right? A lot of times the little things add up to be something big and meaningful. I commend the author for not talking down to the reader. I don't ever think authors do this on purpose, but I can tell she respects the reader and knows that kids can surprise us with how much they can process and understand.

Most importantly even though I don't necessarily have Miranda's personality or history this book reminded me of how it felt like to be in sixth grade again.Miranda finds the fourth note in Richard's shoe and learns that the laughing man came from the future to save Sal's life.

Sal runs onto a street right ahead of an oncoming truck.


We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. It's useful to know, for example, that — unlike British post boxes — American mail boxes are squat and stand on four feet; that "barrettes" are hair-slides; and that two-dollar bills are much rarer than one-dollar ones.

November 2, Stead won the annual Newbery Medal recognizing When You Reach Me as the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". Wait, back up. Retrieved November 7,