Marly Natherson's Reviews > When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
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's review
Jul 05, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, middle-grade-fiction, audio-books

In Rebecca Stead's masterpiece of a novel, Miranda explains that in order for her Mom to prepare for a round of $20,000 Pyramid, she has to lift her veil. Her mother, she explains, believes that we all have a invisible veil in front of our faces, much like a bride on her wedding day, that creates the blurry vision through which we experience most of life. Miranda goes on to explain that sometimes, when the moment is just right, the veil is removed (as if blow by the wind) and we can see the world for what it is. "We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. (Google Books pg 71)"
It is in this way that Rebecca Stead has woven together a young adult voice, with which young readers can relate, and thought-provoking ideas about life, love, and relationships. When Miranda helps the shy girl in her class by offering to become her bathroom buddy, she reflects on how it makes he feel. "Sometimes you never feel meaner than the moment you stop being mean. It's like how turning on the light makes you realize how dark the room had gotten. (Google Books pg. 144) Stead has offers a metaphor for lessons which might otherwise be hard to understand for younger readers.
Since finishing this book a week ago, I have already loaned it to a student that I'm working with over the summer. I listened to it on CD in my car, and now I think about Miranda, Sal, Annemarie, Julia, Colin, Marcus, and the Laughing Man often.

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