UNC Middle School Lit discussion

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When You Reach Me

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message 1: by Janey (new)

Janey Elmore | 15 comments I hope each one of you is finding time in our ridiculously hectic, over committed, fast paced lives to find a quiet place to spend a few hours with Miranda in When You Reach Me. I thought this book was beautifully written and in a way ageless. So if you would, just write your favorite quote from the book (or a few) and give a couple sentences explaining why you picked this quote.

Come ready to listen and chat about the book Thursday :)


message 2: by Katie (new)

Katie B. | 13 comments My favorite quote is located on page 164. "To save Sal. That's why you stood on our corner day after day. That's why you were always doing those kicks into the street- you were practicing. It was all to save Sal. Because, somehow, you knew." I love this quote because it clearly explains the crazy man's actions. Suddenly, he wasn't "crazy" anymore. The sacrifices Marcus will eventually make show just how dedicated he is to prevent Sal's death, even though he will cause his own. This kind of bravery is incredibly rare and makes Marcus's journey that much more poignant.


message 3: by Madison (new)

Madison Pinkowski | 12 comments I loved: "'Well, it's simple to love someone,' she said. 'But it's hard to know when you need to say it out loud.'" I think this is so true for people of all ages and all different kinds of love. Too often, we don't tell our friends and loved ones how much we love and appreciate them, and we never know how much they might need to hear it.


message 4: by Janey (new)

Janey Elmore | 15 comments truth, Madison


message 5: by Holli (new)

Holli Jacobs | 8 comments I have to say that I LOVED this book...and Madison definitely took the first quote that popped into my head when I had to think of my favorite quote...so I'm just gonna have to post it up here again!
"Well, it's simple to love someone...but it's hard to know when you need to say it out loud." This quote stuck with me and at first it almost seemed out of place in the book, but as I reflect on it, it definitely fits. This quote is relevant to everyone, because in life a lot of things may seem easy especially feelings, but somethings aren't as easy to actually express or show..


message 6: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 15 comments I have two quotations that I like.

The first is on page 71 of my book: "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."

The second quotation that I like is on page 153: "There are days when everything changes, and this was one of those days."

I like both of these quotations because I think each one is completely true. The first one explains how so many people live life, and sometimes it is very difficult to have your veil pushed away for a minute, especially because it is hard to forget what you learn during the times when your world is not "blurry." With the second one, it is interesting to think back on those life changing moments that you did not know were life changing at the time. It is amazing to reflect and realize how important a particular moment was.


message 7: by Beth (new)

Beth Wright | 12 comments One of my favorite quotes is located on page 188.
"Maybe Dick Clark never ages. But the rest of us will. I will. Sal will, thanks to you. And Marcus will, too."
I love this quote because this is when Miranda is putting all the puzzle pieces together and discovering the truth about who the laughing man really is. She realizes what would have happen had Marcus not made this journey to save Sal. It is amazing to me that Marcus (or the future Marcus) would risk his life, ultimately ending his own, in order to save a young boy he barely knows.


message 8: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey Hensler | 11 comments My favorite quote is, "Sometimes you never feel meaner than the moment you stop being mean."

I like this quote because it is ironic, but yet, true. What makes this quote true is that when one stops being "mean" it is as though he/she is giving up on being him/herself. It could also be interpreted as one feeling meaner because it is the moment he/she realizes all of the mean things that have been said.


message 9: by Lizzy (new)

Lizzy | 10 comments "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."

I think this is beautifully written and there is so much truth in this. The way she speaks is so poetic and she is able to slip in bold statements about life without the reader even realizing.


message 10: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (kmhardin) | 14 comments My favorite quotes are what have already been said..especially the one about the veil, but this one goes along with that. (p. 187-188) "I am jumping up and down because at the very moment Dick Clark said the word 'Go,' it was like an invisible hand reached out and snatched away my veil. And for almost a minute, I understood everything. When that veil isn't hanging down right in front of a person's face, a minute is long enough to realize a lot of things." I think this is great and a beautiful metaphor for how things can suddenly become clear after seeming so jumbled and impossible. It's just written beautifully and I can relate to the experience.

Another favorite is on p. 139. "I walked up the hill, where the sunlight seemed to touch everything like it was a hyper kid running all over a toy store-it bounced off the dirty metal lampposts, the shiny brass awning posts, even the sunglasses of a woman walking her dogs with a cup of coffee in one hand. Everything shined." I just love this because of the wonderful way Stead describes things. She puts everything in a different perspective and makes the reader see things through the eyes of Miranda in a new way. It's very poetic, and I love reading this type of writing. It's the way I would want to write if I were a writer :)


message 11: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 13 comments "Well, it's simple to love someone," she said. "But it's hard to know when you need to say it out loud.""
this like many people was my absolute favorite quote in the book :)!
But...
the one I pulled out that I found very funny as this one...
"If I'm afraid of someone on the street, I'll turn to him (it's always a boy) and say, "Excuse me, do you happen to know what time it is?" This is my way of saying to the person, "I see you as a friend, and there is no need to hurt me or take my stuff. Also, I don't even have a watch and I am probably not worth mugging." So far, it's worked like gangbusters... And I've discovered that most people I'm afraid of are actually very friendly."

Before reading this book I have actually thought about this a lot. My family often travels to New York and I tend to find myself being very Miranda"ish" when encountering "scary" passerbyers.
After I realized this about myself I realized that not all people approach "scary stranger situations the same"
I think the way someone approaches a situation like this one say a lot about their personality. :)

also, did anyone else have a hard time when trying to listen to this book? Definitely learned I am not a auditory learner!


message 12: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra (alexandrapappas) | 10 comments My favorite quote was "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." " (p. 71)

It reminds me of this short story by Hawthorne (The Minister's Black Veil) and how we all wear "veils" to hide something or shield ourselves from the world. I just feel like it is such an accurate depiction of how many people really are.


message 13: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 12 comments "Einstein says common sense is just habit of thought. It's how we're used to thinking about things, but a lot of the time it just gets in the way."

I like the first mention of common sense here. I think it is very important to the book because all the things that the characters think rely on "common sense." It takes Miranda a long time to finally realize what is happening with the laughing man and time. This is probably because none of it makes "common sense." It's interesting to me how much emphasis and value we typically place on having "common sense," though now we see through Miranda's story that "common sense" is often a veil that keeps us from understanding the truth.


message 14: by Elaine (last edited Apr 22, 2010 07:39PM) (new)

Elaine Utin | 12 comments "... I leaned forward and dropped the note into Julia's lap. I hadn't had much time - it was just the one word: TRUCE."

I feel like Miranda matured a lot here. It was cool "watching" her step out of her comfort zone, swallow her pride, and reach out to help her friends.


message 15: by Lexi (new)

Lexi | 1 comments Who said the quote“Well, it's simple to love someone," she said. "But it's hard to know when you need to say it out loud.” in the book When you reach e=me by Rebecca Stead?


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