Caitlin's Reviews > When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
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's review
Jun 17, 10

bookshelves: childrens, young-adult, fiction
Read from June 15 to 16, 2010

Wow. This book took me totally by surprise, in that when I began reading it, I was expecting to like it, but not think it deserving of the Newbery medal. It wasn't until I reached the climax and magnificent denouement of this book that I fully understood why this novel won that prestigious award for children's literature this year. (Aside: I think at first, I was trying to make it something it simply isn't, comparing it too often to last year's winner, Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book." Finally, about two-thirds of the way through, I let go of this notion and accepted this one for what it is). "When You Reach Me" is a fantastic story, with an excellent blend of science fiction and realistic fiction elements. It is exceedingly well-written. Author Stead stays away from verbose prose, which makes the first-person narration seem like it was written by an actual 12-year-old girl (it takes a lot of skill to sound like a preteen when you're writing as an adult, I believe!). I loved all the characters, especially the main protagonist Miranda. The plot structure is nearly perfect, with all the first part of the story gradually building to a thrilling climax that (without giving too much away) had me in near tears and gripping my book very tightly! The ending was well-thought out, neat, and it made me yearn for more, as great books always do. I would recommend this wonderful story to everyone ages 11-12 and older (as younger readers might not 'get' all the elements of the story).

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