Who knew that it would be a twelve-year old girl in 1978 who figures out the nuances of time travel? That’s not to say she’s figures out how to actually travel time herself, but she at least discovers all of its little quirks. That’s just one of the many surprises readers are in store for in Rebecca Stead’s “When You Reach Me.”
“When You Reach Me” follows sixth grader Miranda as she details a story that she has been asked to tell from mysterious notes she is receiving from an unknown sender. At first it sounds like there’s potentially some creep who would be perfect for “To Catch a Predator” that is stalking the spunky girl. As events unfold, it seems that this mysterious sender knows an awful lot about events that will happen in the future. With the knowledge she has accrued from her favorite book “A Wrinkle in Time,” Miranda starts to think that maybe this mysterious note man has travelled back in time to stop a horrible event from happening.
The best part of Stead’s writing is that even though there is this ever-present potential for a big sci-fi twist, you are equally as invested in seeing how her characters will grow while wondering if time travel really does play a part in the whole story. Miranda has to deal with many grown-up themes, like racism, mental illness, the loss of a parent, the loss of a friend, and the differences between boys and girls, but she handles them all graciously without ever needing a time machine of her own to make time to learn this multitude of life lessons.
Mysterious sci-fi twist that you're never sure will play out or not.
Heartwarming lessons for young and old readers.
Great homage to a classic piece of YA literature.
I found this book to be slow, but I kept at it and just loved the ending. I figured it out about the same time as the main character. The twist is something that I didn't see coming, which made it all the better. I think this would be a great book to re-read now that I know what happens.