"I am coming to save your friend's life and my own." When You Reach Me.
It’s the end of the 1970s and twelve year old Miranda lives with her mother in a rundown apartment right upstairs from her best friend, Sal. They walk back and forth to school together every day noticing the “laughing man” on the street corner who's always pumping his fist and shouting into the air. Forever it's been Miranda and Sal. Until the day they’re walking home and he gets punched by a new kid for no reason. Miranda can’t figure out why- but after that Sal doesn’t want to be her friend anymore. Luckily, she and Annemarie begin hanging out more and during their lunch break they even go to Jimmy's restaurant with a boy in their class, Colin, and work (for free sandwiches). They don't get paid, but it's still fun. Miranda also gets to know Marcus, the boy who punched Sal. She thought he would be a bully, but he's actually very nice and he's also read her favorite book- A Wrinkle in Time. He tries to explain the one thing he doesn't like about the book, but Miranda doesn't quite get what he’s talking about. Still, she can't stop thinking about what he said and she continues to try to make sense of it. When Miranda receives a small written note with a mysterious message she's nervous and tells her mother. The notes keep coming and she's informed that she shouldn’t tell anyone about them. Now she's even more worried. Who's sending Miranda the notes? What do they mean? Why doesn’t Sal want to be friends anymore? Will she figure out what is going on? You will have to connect the dots as you read!
I had heard about When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. One of my favorite things is the connection to the book A Wrinkle in Time. Miranda is obsessed with this story and brings her copy everywhere. I can understand how she feels because I love this book too, so right away that helped me relate to her character. Because the story takes place in the 1970s I thought it was interesting to see what life was like then compared to now. I like Miranda and how she really thinks about things. It was fun learning about how she was helping her mom prepare for a game show. I especially liked trying to piece together the clues of what was happening once Miranda started receiving the notes. I put most of it together fairly quickly, but I wasn't sure I was correct until the end. And I was still missing one piece. I recommend this book to kids who like A Wrinkle in Time, science-fiction, time travel, realistic fiction and a story with hidden messages.
Has anyone else read When You Reach Me? Or have you read another book by Rebecca Stead? We’d love to hear your thoughts!