Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for When you reach me
Format:
Title:
When you reach me
ISBN:
9780385737425

9780375850868

9780385906647

9781921656064
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York, NY : Wendy Lamb Books, 2009.
Physical Description:
199 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
"Four mysterious letters change Miranda's world forever. By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner. But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for an emergency is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper: I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own. I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late." -- Jacket.
Reading Level:
Interest age level : Ages 9-12.

Middle School.

750L Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning MG 4.5 6.0.

Accelerated Reader 4.5.
Added Author:
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
Searching...
TEEN FIC STEAD
Searching...
Searching...
+ FICTION - STEAD
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION - STEAD
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION - STEAD
Searching...
Searching...
J STEAD, R.
Searching...
Searching...
JR STE
Searching...
Searching...
Stead
Searching...
Searching...
J FIC STEAD 2010
Searching...
Searching...
+ STEAD
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION STEAD
Searching...
Searching...
J AWARDS STEAD 2010
Searching...
Searching...
J Stead, R.
Searching...
Searching...
J Stead, R.
Searching...
Searching...
JF STEAD
Searching...
Searching...
JF STEAD
Searching...
Searching...
J Stead, R.
Searching...
Searching...
Stead
Searching...

On Order

Summary

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


Author Notes

Rebecca Stead won the Newbery Medal for her second novel When You Reach Me in 2010. Her first novel is First Light. Rebecca's third novel, Liar & Spy, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 2013. She is the first US author to win the Prize.

All of Rebecca's novels have received critical and popular acclaim with When You Reach Me, Liar & Spy, and Goodbye Stranger all appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. Ms. Stead's books are published under the Random House Children's book imprint Wendy Lamb.

Before committing to a career as a writer, Rebecca was a lawyer working as a public defender.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Sixth-grader Miranda lives in 1978 New York City with her mother, and her life compass is Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. When she receives a series of enigmatic notes that claim to want to save her life, she comes to believe that they are from someone who knows the future. Miranda spends considerable time observing a raving vagrant who her mother calls "the laughing man" and trying to find the connection between the notes and her everyday life. Discerning readers will realize the ties between Miranda's mystery and L'Engle's plot, but will enjoy hints of fantasy and descriptions of middle school dynamics. Stead's novel is as much about character as story. Miranda's voice rings true with its faltering attempts at maturity and observation. The story builds slowly, emerging naturally from a sturdy premise. As Miranda reminisces, the time sequencing is somewhat challenging, but in an intriguing way. The setting is consistently strong. The stores and even the streets-in Miranda's neighborhood act as physical entities and impact the plot in tangible ways. This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Twelve-year-old Miranda, a latchkey kid whose single mother is a law school dropout, narrates this complex novel, a work of science fiction grounded in the nitty-gritty of Manhattan life in the late 1970s. Miranda's story is set in motion by the appearance of cryptic notes that suggest that someone is watching her and that they know things about her life that have not yet happened. She's especially freaked out by one that reads: "I'm coming to save your friend's life, and my own." Over the course of her sixth-grade year, Miranda details three distinct plot threads: her mother's upcoming appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid; the sudden rupture of Miranda's lifelong friendship with neighbor Sal; and the unsettling appearance of a deranged homeless person dubbed "the laughing man." Eventually and improbably, these strands converge to form a thought-provoking whole. Stead (First Light) accomplishes this by making every detail count, including Miranda's name, her hobby of knot tying and her favorite book, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. 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. Ages 9-14. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Horn Book Review

(Intermediate) The first real indication that this book is going to get deeply, seductively weird is when broody classmate Marcus engages the heroine, Miranda, in a discussion about a flaw in the logic of A Wrinkle in Time: "So if they had gotten home five minutes before they left, like those ladies promised they would, then they would have seen themselves get back. Before they left." Miranda's life is an ordinary round of family and school, the first characterized by a pretty strong relationship with her mother and Mom's good-guy boyfriend, the second by ever-shifting (and perceptively limned) alliances in her sixth-grade class. But when her best friend is bizarrely punched by another boy on the street, and when she starts receiving anonymous notes that seem to foretell the future, it's clear that all is not as it seems. The mystery provides a thread that manages, just, to keep the plot's several elements together, and the closely observed relationships among the characters make the mystery matter. 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. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* If this book makes your head hurt, you're not alone. Sixth-grader Miranda admits that the events she relates make her head hurt, too. Time travel will do that to you. The story takes place in 1979, though time frames, as readers learn, are relative. Miranda and Sal have been best friends since way before that. They both live in a tired Manhattan apartment building and walk home together from school. One day everything changes. Sal is kicked and punched by a schoolmate and afterward barely acknowledges Miranda. Which leaves her to make new friends, even as she continues to reread her ratty copy of A Wrinkle in Time and tutor her mother for a chance to compete on The $20,000 Pyramid. She also ponders a puzzling, even alarming series of events that begins with a note: I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own . . . you must write me a letter. Miranda's first-person narrative is the letter she is sending to the future. Or is it the past? It's hard to know if the key events ultimately make sense (head hurting!), and it seems the whys, if not the hows, of a pivotal character's actions are not truly explained. Yet everything else is quite wonderful. The '70s New York setting is an honest reverberation of the era; the 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. Just as Miranda rereads L'Engle, children will return to this.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2009 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

In this era of supersize children's books, Rebecca Stead's "When You Reach Me" looks positively svelte. But don't be deceived: In this taut novel, every word, every sentence, has meaning and substance. A hybrid of genres, it is a complex mystery, a work of historical fiction, a school story and one of friendship, with a leitmotif of time travel running through it. Most of all the novel is a thrilling puzzle. Stead piles up clues on the way to a moment of intense drama, after which it is pretty much impossible to stop reading until the last page. It is 1979 on the Upper West Side of New York City, and Miranda, a sixth grader, is telling us, or rather someone in particular, about the events of the previous few months - "trying to map out the story you asked me to tell." How the spare apartment key suddenly disappeared. How her best friend, Sal, stopped talking to her after being hit by a strange boy on their way home from school. And how anonymous notes started appearing, referring to things no one else but she could know about and begging her to do things as well. It all happens within a few blocks, an urban neighborhood as intimate and familiar as any small town. There's Miranda's aging apartment building; her school; Jimmy's deli, where she and two friends snag lunchtime jobs; and the corner with the crazy man who shouts weird things. Others in this small slice of Manhattan include Miranda's single mother, a law school dropout who likes to wear striped tights and electric blue nail polish and is preparing to go on the "$20,000 Pyramid" game show; her mother's boyfriend Richard, Mr. Perfect (except for having one leg slightly shorter than the other); some new friends, Annemarie and Colin; and Marcus, an enigmatic boy who talks of Einstein and time travel. My fourth-grade students became obsessed detectives when I read this book to them - examining the map-like cover for clues, studying the clever chapter titles and constantly recalibrating their ideas as more pieces of the puzzle were revealed. When I reached the end, when they saw just how everything fitted together, they were completely and utterly delighted. I anticipate many others will be too after reading this smart and mesmerizing book. MONICA EDINGER