Time Traveling = Awesome
In New York City in the late 1970s, twelve-year-old Miranda lives with her vibrant but sometimes childish and frustrated mother in a rundown apartment building in a lower class neighborhood. When Sal, her best friend since infancy, suddenly no longer wants to be friends with Miranda, new friends Annemarie, Colin and Marcus enter her life. At the same time, worrisome notes from a stranger are left for Miranda in odd places. The notes warn that the life of one of Miranda’s friends is in danger and state that the writer of the notes needs her help. Slowly, as the pieces of the mystery come together, Miranda also matures and learns more about the people around her.
The winner of the 2010 Newbery Medal, When You Reach Me contains an absorbing plot of mystery and time travel woven with friendship that captivates the reader. Students with cunning and eager minds will enjoy trying to unravel the mystery before the end of the book. Stead’s use of Miranda’s first person point of view is quirky and lively, and seeing the events unfold through Miranda’s eyes helps to guide the reader through what could be a complicated timeline of events. Young fans of energetic mysteries such as Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game or sci-fi adventures like A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle will want to get their hands on Stead’s When You Reach Me. If your library has a collection for older elementary and younger middle school students, this is a book that you will want on your shelves.