Amy's Reviews > When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
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's review
Feb 15, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: realistic-fiction, historical-fic, fantasy-sci-fi
Read from February 20 to 21, 2010

It is 1979 and sixth graders Miranda and Sal have been best friends forever. But one day, something happens that changes their friendship, turning Miranda's world upside down. Readers walk right into her life, as she learns to negotiate new friendships, the trials of growing up, family and identity in Manhattan.

Miranda's got her free spirited mother who works hard to support them by working at as a paralegal. At night, joined by Richard (her mother's boyfriend) they prepare her mother for a possible stint on a popular game show. There's the laughing man, a homeless man who walks the street corner, who Miranda can't seem to get but ends up playing an integral role in her life. And there's Jimmy's, a sandwich shop that she and two new friends work part time at... during their lunch hour. In her busy life, Miranda is most interested in time travel and she can be found toting around a battered copy of a favorite book that explores this concept.

This fantastic story transcends a single genre. It starts out realistic fiction (historical realistic fiction at that- if you consider 1979 "historical") and then takes some interesting turns, riding the line of magical realism and fantasy depending, I think, on the readers perception. Absolutely amazing! For a first time author, Stead really shines and shows how well she can relate to this age group. This book won the Newberry this year and will for sure change the way we look at children's literature!
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Quotes Amy Liked

Rebecca Stead
“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.”
Rebecca Stead, When You Reach Me

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

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Ch_jank-caporale Ooh, this sounds right up my alley. Thanks for recommending it, though I have no idea when I'll fit it in!!!! There's always next semester when the bulk of my reading material will be dry theory-related texts!

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