Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Book Recommendation - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

This week I'm recommending something different, a Middle Grade and Newbery Award Winner - WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead. It's not a new book, it won the Newbery last year, but it is definitely one of my new favorites.

SUMMARY: 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, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. 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.

Why I love this book: This book took me back to elementary school when I was just discovering how much I love to read. Even though it's something totally new, it felt so familiar to me that reading it felt like coming home to an old favorite. It's set in the 70's, like so many of the books I read back then, references A Wrinkle In Time and features girl dealing with growing up and finding where she fits in in the world. (PLUS it features one of my all-time favorite subjects, but to tell you what that is would ruin the surprise!)

I could go on and on but really you should read this book. I think that particularly if you grew up in the 80s, this book will really strike a chord with you.


  1. I've seen this book in the library, but hadn't read the description. It sounds good. I'll check it out.

  2. Ooh, this sounds great. I'll have to check it out.

  3. First off, it seems every conference I've been to in the last year mentioned this book in some shape or form. I checked it out from the library, read a few chapters, and took it back. *Hangs head in shame*. I just couldn't see the bigger picture and it lost my interest. Then, I checked it out as an audio book and I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did. As I listened, this series of seemingly unconnected vignettes entertained me, though I still couldn't see where it was all going. Once the book all came together at the end... woah! I was sooooo amazed. Rebcecca Stead has earned all of my respect because the book was just unbelievable. Highly recommend!


  4. I just finished reading this book and I too loved it. When I started I wasn't sure I would but within a few chapters I was hooked and all the way through it stays true to its plot. I highly recommend!


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