Courtney Johnston's Reviews > When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
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Sep 25, 12

bookshelves: extraordinary, fiction, own
Read in March, 2010

A slim, perfect book about love, death, friendship, being 12, and time travel - and a love letter to Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time' to boot.

I ordered Stead's book through the public library after finding out it was the winner of last year's Newbery Medal. When I picked it up and saw the big print, I felt disappointed; I'd been excited, but thought that even with my growing passion for children's and YA novels, this was going to be too simple.

I took it home anyway, figuring I'd give it a few pages. And I was immediately hooked. The book might be aimed at 10 year-olds and up, but it's completely engrossing. Miranda, the central figure, is one of the most appealing female characters I've found in a long time, and the book is beautifully and tautly written, managing to be both a straightforward narrative, and a mystery with time-clues dangling throughout.

Rebecca Stead also includes, in Miranda's voice, two of the loveliest evocations of the way you can feel about a book when you're 12:

'The truth is that my book doesn't say how old Meg is, but I'm twelve, so she feels twelve to me. When I first got the book I was eleven, and she felt eleven.'

'I was getting annoyed. The truth is that I hate to think about other people reading my book. It's like watching someone go through the box of private stuff that I keep under my bed.'

If you have a daughter, you should buy this book for her. No matter how old she is.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Emma Makes Yes, everything you said - that's my review.


Rachael Oh I'm going to check this out. Rebecca Stead is quoted on the cover of The Apothecary which I'm reading right now. Also, that quote: YES. And that is why I don't say how old Jake is in Red Rocks. He needs to be whateve age the reader needs him to be (in my mind he's about 12 but a ten year old read it and told me he was 10).


Courtney Johnston Rachael wrote: "Oh I'm going to check this out. Rebecca Stead is quoted on the cover of The Apothecary which I'm reading right now. Also, that quote: YES. And that is why I don't say how old Jake is in Red Rocks. ..."

Oh, Rachael - this book is indescribably good. You *must* read it.


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