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When You Reach Me

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  78,117 ratings  ·  10,933 reviews
Miranda is an ordinary sixth grader, until she starts receiving mysterious messages from somebody who knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late.
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Wendy Lamb Books
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  78,117 ratings  ·  10,933 reviews


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karen
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
a super short review, karenstyle!!

someday, i am going to venture down to the second floor where the kids/teen section is and i am going to grab a whole bunch of books that i like and i am going to just shelve them in my adult fiction section because the young'uns shouldn't get to hog everything that is good in this world and also not have to pay rent, and there is something creepy about a 35 year old man browsing the shelves in teen fiction.* i am doing everyone a favor here.

this book is great.
...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Pinky


I know now that if I want to be completely surprised, I just have to read middle school books. Ironically, books for kids seem to have the most profound meanings. This book is sunshine and sunset combined- beautiful and heartbreaking.

Coincidentally, I just read a sci-fi story about time travel before this. It was technically well explained but I don’t know why I wasn’t so impressed. This adorable little book talks about time travel too and is absolutely enthralling. It didn’t have to try so har
...more
Cara
Dec 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cara by: Ginny
One of the most impressive things to me about middle grade literature is how much power their books can punch with so little pages. It still astounds me. As older people I guess we tend to over explain and over analyze. Thank goodness there are authors that can still capture the feel of being a kid growing up and how simultaneously painful and wonderful it can be.

Miranda is a sixth grader who lives in New York City. Her life seems pretty normal. She has a best friend named Sal but that all chang
...more
L A i N E Y
W H O A.

To say those last couple of chapters caught me off guard is an understatement. I’m stunned and (or because of) I found myself getting really emotional towards the end...

Just so good.

Read in one day.


rating: ★★★★

...more
Betsy
Apr 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been struggling over how to begin this review. I want to get it exactly right. I want to convey to you precisely what it is that I mean to say. If you’ve read any of my reviews before then you know that I like lots of stuff. There is, quite frankly, a lot of stuff out there to like. So what I have to do here is convey to you just how this book is, pretty much, one of the best children’s books I have ever read. Here’s an idea. Have you not heard of When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead? Well no ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: A Wrinkle in Time fans; 9 to adult; those who enjoy time travel, NYC, 1979, 12 yr old girls
First I have to say that A Wrinkle in Time has been my favorite or among my very favorite books since I was nine years old, and I’ve never been able to write a true or worthy review for it; I can’t even try.

There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of books I wish I’d written. Occasionally, I come across a book I should have written. This is a book I definitely should have written. It touched me to the core in that incredibly familiar way that seems to come from within, not the outside. Some details are
...more
Pinky
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, just beautiful! I loved this book so much! The writing style was marvelous, I loved the main character. So many people told me to read this book and I finally did. The plot was different and unique. This is how I found out about this book.

2 Days Ago...

I was sitting at my desk in Tec class and I was reading the last book in the Mistborn Trilogy. When I was at the most intense scene, someone poked me on the shoulder.
"WOAH," I screamed. I was terrified, but I should have known it was
...more
Samantha
Newbery Winner 2010
#2 on Barnes & Noble's Top Ten Children's Books of 2009
Maine Student Book Award Nominee 2010-2011

I feel like I'm missing something because every other review seems to be five stars. I liked the book. How could I not, when it references A Wrinkle in Time so often. I personally found the mystery to be easily solved. I like how the author weaved the clues in, but I found it to be very obvious and knew from the beginning from the book who it was and how it would work. I'm not
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Cassy
I almost did not read this book. I knew it was targeted for a younger audience, but I didn’t realize just how young. I kept vainly searching for it in the teenagers’ section (where I was already a bit embarrassed to be spotted). When I realized I would have to go inside the children’s section at B&N, I wavered. The little chairs. The colored foam titles on the floor. The stuffed animals. It’s all cute, but could one of those books satisfy me?

It probably deserves more than three stars. But it
...more
Britany
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was so good!

This is a book that kept coming up over the years in different book podcasts that I listened to. I finally got to it as I was looking for a shorter audiobook to finish before I leave for vacation. This fit the bill perfectly. For some reason, I didn't realize it was a middle grade book, but certainly left nothing out for me.

Miranda is your average 12 year old girl trying to find her way in NYC. Her mom is auditioning and practicing for the Pyramid game show (which was the i
...more
Donalyn
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I was a sixth grader in 1979. In seventh grade, I wrote a book report on A Wrinkle In Time, which remains on my favorite books-of-all-time list to this day. I have not read L'Engle's classic in a long time. The books we love from childhood are as much about who we were when we read them as it is about the books themselves. I suppose I fear that I won't enjoy A Wrinkle In Time as much as I did when I was twelve.

Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me might change my mind.

The book takes place in 1979, a
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
$1.99 Kindle special, March 2, 2018, for this 2010 Newbery award winner. And karen gave it 5 stars! so I'm off to buy it now.
Sarah
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I liked this book, though I'm not sure I can jump on the bandwagon of rave reviews. The writing is well-done, and I love the language - it's quite poetic in places. The main character is an observant, thoughtful, intelligent young woman who is very likeable. The subject of the story - centered on the idea of time-travel - is pleasantly different from the popular YA literature that currently crowds bookstore and library shelves (zombies, vampires, etc). What I did not like about the novel is that ...more
George Jankovic
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love middle-grade books. The quality is usually as good as with adult books, yet they are so cute, fresh and easy-to-read. They also attack problems in life head on. They are rarely politically-correct. Kids don't beat around the bush and neither do the books for them.

The first quarter of When You Reach Me is about the life of a sixth grader Miranda. Here are examples of wonderful chapter headings:

Things you keep in a box

Things you hide

Things that sneak up on you

At times that first part is in
...more
Kate Willis
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Soak that title in. Have you ever heard anything so unique and beautiful? The inside of the book is even more so. I knew it right away from the very originally named chapter titles and the use of second person perspective. (Hats off to the author--no one ever does that!) I knew even more with the odd clues and the references to A Wrinkle in Time.

This book left me stunned and thoughtful for a week afterward.

There were sweet moments to the story--working at a restaurant with friends, baking a ridi
...more
Tatiana
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Actually, I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying this book. This is why: 1) I rarely like any books whose target audience is middle-schoolers; 2) "When You Reach Me" is a sort of homage to Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle In Time," a novel which I couldn't get myself to finish.

It's a little hard to give a synopsis of the story. 12-year old Miranda's best friend Sal suddenly stops talking to her. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda start
...more
Clare Cannon
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 13+ years

This intriguing modern day story draws inspiration from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.

When Miranda's mother unexpectedly fell pregnant during college, she put her studies on hold and took time out to care for her baby. Twelve years later mother and daughter are poor but happy together.

Miranda is a good girl, but like many her age her world is small and revolves mainly around herself. When strange notes appear which tell her about things that will happen in the future, she is intrigued.
...more
smetchie
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to smetchie by: Jamie
It's a time travelling story. It will remind you of other time travelling stories. But that's just the box. What's inside is bona fide gold. Newbery medal and all...so I guess I should have seen that coming, but I didn't. It was a delightful surprise.

Miranda is twelve and lives in NYC with her mom. Her mom has rules about city living like never show your money on the street and always have your key out before you reach the front door. But Miranda has a trick of her own. "If I'm afraid of someon
...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: Lisa Eggers
In a conventional novel for young people, Miranda Sinclair’s mother practicing to be a contestant on The $20,000 Pyramid would be the highlight — nay, the entirety — of the novel. But by now you’ve guessed that When You Reach Me is no ordinary novel; instead, it’s one of the most unconventional novels I’ve ever read — and I’m including The Name of the Rose, The Icarus Hunt, Dorp Dead, and Miranda’s favorite book of all time, A Wrinkle in Time. Miranda’s mother, a bleeding-heart paralegal and sin ...more
Stephen
2.5 stars. Going right in between "okay" and "I liked it" on this one. On the good side, this is a clever YA (emphasis on the young) mystery that is fairly well paced and a good ending. I also thought the discussions about time were pretty good and may interest younger readers in wanting to learn more.

On the negative side, I didn't really like the characters and the prose, while good, was not as engaging as I would have liked. That could very well be simply the result of its aiming for a younge
...more
Tamora Pierce
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-ya-yr
While I label this great book (to be published in July 2009) science fiction, that element is not the most obvious part of the story. Rather it's the story of Miranda, who doesn't understand why her best friend from the floor below her has cut her off since the day a big kid punched him in the stomach. We follow her through school as she tries to make friends with the well-to-do Annamarie and Colin, tries to sort out Julia's emnity, and together with her mother's boyfriend helps her mother to pr ...more
Lisa
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who want to 'tesser well'
Shelves: favorites
WOW. Holy cow. I did not see this coming. This was fantastic. This is going straight to my best of all time list. Very original, awesome setting. A very smart book. Great writing. LOVED it. Can't wait to read it again.

Read it again. Just as good the second time.

7/29/2014: My fourth read! Always amazing, but this time was really cool. My niece is at my house for a few days. She has to read this over the summer for school! We stayed up all night reading it right to the end. We both loved it. My vo
...more
Toni
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, 2017
I loved this book and wish I'd read it as a child. Miranda is a 12-year old girl with a very busy mum. She calls herself 'a latchkey kid' as her Mum can't afford childcare and Miranda has to walk to school and let herself in later. Miranda's mum would like to go to a law school to help disadvantaged people but that's another thing they don't have money for. The book is in the form of a letter Miranda writes for a future time traveller (she is obsessed with Madeleine L'Engle's book 'A Wrinkle in ...more
Brierly
When You Reach Me is a middle grades science fiction novel set in the late 20th century in the Upper West Side of New York City. The novel is a bit of a mystery, as well, as it focuses on the identity of the mysterious letter writer contacting sixth-grader Miranda. There are other elements woven in, additionally, including A Wrinkle in Time, some time travel, and Jewish culture.

As a whole, this book had much to discuss (in a classroom) as far as plot, characters, and setting, despite being a qui
...more
Catie Currie
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, funny
This was such a good book! I've learned to be wary of Newberry winners because, for some reason, they tend to be awful, but this one was so wonderful! It was well-written, touched on a lot of sticky issues in a really open, but tactful way, and the first person narration felt very authentic. The "twist" was fairly obvious to an adult, but I have no doubt that lots of kids' jaws dropped. I will definitely be recommending this book to all the middle schoolers I know.
Shannon
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to Shannon by: Andy
4.5 stars!

This is the newest Newbery Medal Award Winner and I had actually wanted to read it before it had been nominated. This is a cleverly written "slice of life" tale that transcends age, gender, and race and is a great story that anyone and everyone can enjoy.

This book twists and turns and meanders about in such a fascinating way that you're quickly pulled into Miranda's and her friends' lives and what it's like to grow up in New York in the late '70s. Some of the observations that the auth
...more
Lightreads
Tiny, tremendous book! True story – I was reading this morning in the waiting room at the doctor's office. I'd spent the whole train ride up bitching to myself about how these guys are always overscheduled and without fail they're running at least half an hour behind. So I'm sitting there, about 90% of the way through my audiobook, and my name gets called. And I'm all, ". . . you're early," and the tech is all, "it's weird, isn't it?" and honest to God I was thisclose to telling him to come back ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
I just finished this, and I'm feeling like I missed something. So many people are raving about this, but I don't see it. I liked the New York setting, the kids running around on their own with latch keys, and the visits to the sub shop at lunch time. The friendships and characters were good, but didn't seem remarkable.
The story is about Miranda, who lives with her mom in New York, and whose favorite book is A Wrinkle in Time, which is one of my favorite books, too. Her mom wants to get on the $
...more
Carol
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
I had heard lots of good things about When You Reach Me. I read several excellent reviews about it. When I heard that it won the John Newbery Medal for outstanding children's literature I decided it was time to add it to my TBR list. Then, our Children's Librarian chose it for her Book Thieves Book Group. So I waited a bit to hear how the group liked it. They liked it just fine. I'm quite impressed that The Book Thieves got the story. It's not an easy conceptualization. But it is good! There's r ...more
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Kathryn Flink: Review 7 1 2 Apr 05, 2019 03:49PM  
Middle Grades: When You Reach Me 1 4 Jun 24, 2018 06:56PM  

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“Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way. But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there's a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don't have to depend on the wind anymore.” 263 likes
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