When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Book 89 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 21 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 4 of 5 for the Book Awards III Reading Challenge
Awards & Praise: Kid's Indie Next List "Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers" 2009; Amazon Best of the Month, July 2009; Starred Reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Publisher's Weekly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So, I'm going to try and not let my gushing get too out of control. But I loved, loved, loved this book. Not only will it be a favorite for 2009, but probably an all-time favorite. It's a juvenile book, but don't let that deter you. Just go get it.
Miranda is a sixth grader growing up in New York City in the late 1970s. She's essentially a latchkey kid but she has savvy street smarts. Strange things have been happening to Miranda that have her unnerved. I don't want to say too much, but her worries have something to do with a missing key, mysterious notes, and a mentally-unstable man who stands on the corner.
This book was like an intricate puzzle. I couldn't see the whole picture as I was reading it, but as the final pieces went in, I was amazed by how it all looked. I even cried. I don't own this book, but I will soon. I can't wait to reread it, and I can't wait to share it with my kids. (End of gushing.)
I would recommend this book for 5th grade and up. The word 'hell' is used twice and it is a coming-of-age type story. In reality, the older you are reading it, I think the more you'll get out of it. But before you read it, it will help if you've read A Wrinkle in Time and watched at least one episode of The $20,000 Pyramid at some point during your life.
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