Friday, September 14, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: WHEN YOU REACH ME


image: When You Reach Me - mystery book review
When You Reach Me - mystery book review

WHEN YOU REACH ME
Rebecca Stead
Wendy Lamb Books
2009

Available: hardcopy, paperback Kindle, audiobook

     Miranda, a 1978 sixth grader, is a latchkey kid living in New York City with her mom. The story begins with a series short chapters of quick bits of seemingly unrelated events. Her lifetime best friend suddenly doesn't want to be friends. Her mom's obsessed with practicing for game show and hopes to win ten thousand dollars. Miranda's own obsession is with a book. The crazy homeless guy in the street frightens her. And. And. And. Everything is wrapped around a strange note that asks her to write a letter about everything that happened. For her to start at the beginning and leave nothing out, so that whoever it is that wrote the note, can save her friend's life. As the story progresses, she begins to suspect the note-writer might be a time traveler, which everyone knows is impossible. Or is it?
     The beginning might be a little confusing for some readers because Miranda remembers things and tells the story out of sequence. At the same time it's compelling because Miranda's voice is strong. Her interaction with the other kids at school reveals her inner strength as well as her vulnerability. You can't help but root for her as she figures out the mystery and her place in the scheme of things.

TARGET AUDIENCE: grades 5-8
MYSTERY / SUSPENCE: stretched out well
KID APPEAL: definite


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