When You Reach Me
Wendy Lamb Books, 2009
I must say, my first impression when finishing ‘When You Reach Me’ was that it was kinda like ‘The Time-Traveler’s Wife’ for middle schoolers. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…That book just happens to be one of my favorites! And Stead’s is just as well written.
Miranda is a sixth grader who lives in New York City. It’s 1978, she’s obsessed with ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ her best friend isn’t speaking to her, her mother is frantically preparing for a stint on the $20,000 Pyramid, and there’s a crazy homeless guy who sleeps under the mailbox around the corner from her house. All in all, not a spectacularly crazy 12-year-old existence until she starts getting mysterious letters from someone claiming to be trying to save her life — letters that Miranda is convinced are from someone in the future. Is Miranda dealing with her own real life time traveler?
This book is already landing on 2009’s best of lists, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts to pick up more speed. Naturally, there are similarities between L’Engle’s story and Miranda’s, since Miranda’s thoughts are so wrapped up in ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ And the similarities between ‘When You Reach Me’ and ‘The Time-Traveler’s Wife’ are really only on the surface — time travel is time travel (how different can it really be from story to story?) and younger readers won’t even be aware of the parallels.
This was a quick, engaging read (you may notice that I am drawn to those), with a strong middle school feel that I think will definitely appeal to that age group (and to those of us who like that sort of thing.) I liked it, very much so!
And I fixed all the broken pictures on my older posts. Huzzah!!