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When You Reach Me

Written by Rebecca Stead
Goodreads Rating - 4.1 / 5.0
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Publisher Summary

“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 exploration of ‘life, death, and the beauty of it all.’” —The Washington Post

This Newbery Medal winner that has been called “smart and mesmerizing,” (The New York Times) and “superb” (The Wall Street Journal) will appeal to readers of all types, especially those who are looking for a thought-provoking mystery with a mind-blowing twist.

Shortly after a fall-out with her best friend, sixth grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, and 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.

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 is the case, then Miranda has a big problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.

Winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction A New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book Five Starred Reviews A Junior Library Guild Selection

“Absorbing.” —People

“Readers … are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Lovely and almost impossibly clever.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“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

What Kind of Book is When You Reach Me

Quotes from This Book

  • “‘Einstein says common sense is just habit of thought. It’s how we’re used to thinking about things, but a lot of the time it just gets in the way.’ ‘In the way of what?’ ‘In the way of what’s true.’”
  • “Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way.
    But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there’s a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don’t have to depend on the wind anymore.”
  • “Sal and I don’t wait for each other these days. Not purposely. But if we happen to be leaving school at the same time, if he isn’t going to a friend’s, or to basketball practice, and I’m not going to Annemarie’s or Julia’s – or Colin’s – then Sal and I walk home together. And we are better this way, together because we want to be. He understood that before I did.”

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • According to Einstein, why does common sense sometimes get in the way of truth?

  • What life lessons does Miranda’s mother teach us about how to treat people?

  • Marcus punching Sal has far-reaching consequences. What does the novel suggest about senseless acts of violence?

  • Marcus is the “magic thread” in Miranda’s story. What is the magic thread in your story?

  • Miranda always refers to A Wrinkle in Time as her book. What is your book? Why?

Book Lists That Include When You Reach Me

Book Topics › 1970's
Children's Books About 1970's
Book Topics › space and time
Children's Books About Space And Time
Book Topics › letter writing
Children's Books About Letter Writing
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Who Wrote When You Reach Me

Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead is the New York Times–bestselling author of When You Reach Me, winner of the Newbery Medal; Liar & Spy; First Light; and Goodbye Stranger. Her work has been also been awarded the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award.

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What Has Rebecca Stead Said About This Book

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What game show does Miranda's mom compete on?
  1. Wheel of Fortune
  2. $20,000 Pyramid
  3. The Price is Right
  4. Hollywood Squares
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Book Details

Publication Date:
December 28, 2010
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