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When You Reach Me Paperback – 6 Jan 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Press (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849392129
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849392129
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A gently philosophical take on how the future can affect the present." (Katy Guest Independent on Sunday Books of the Year)

"Witty, touching and clever." (Sally Morris Daily Mail)

"Beautifully and simply told despite the fact that the story they tell is complex and thought-provoking. This is a great book." (Julia Eccleshare LoveReading4Kids)

"This is one of the most impressive children's books I've read in a long time. The writing (is) delicate yet robust, full of insight, compassion and wisdom. Stead manages to describe complex emotions in a fresh and original manner." (Sarah Webb Irish Independent)

"A satisfying read that should remain popular as long as the classic A Wrinkle In Time to which it pays homage." (Carousel)

Book Description

The Time-Traveller's Wife for children. This remarkable novel holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart. It's original, brilliant and profound.

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Mead on 10 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Miranda--the protagonist of the 2010 Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me--is a twelve-year-old latchkey kid living with her single mom in New York City in the 1970s. She's smart, she's funny, and she reads only one book: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Her mother--a would-be lawyer with a keen sense of justice--was forced to drop out of law school when she had Miranda. Now she works unhappily as a paralegal and dreams of winning the game show The $20,000 Pyramid so she can quit her job.

Miranda has lost her best friend, Sal, who lives in her apartment building. One day, while the two of them were walking home from school, a neighborhood kid named Marcus punched Sal, and from that day on Sal just seemed to drift away: he no longer waits to walk with Miranda, and he refuses even to look at her when they bump into each other. In the confusing void left by Sal, Miranda strikes up new friendships with Annemarie--who was recently ditched by her sometimes-snotty best friend Julia--and Colin, "this short kid who seemed to end up in my class every year" (p. 54). The three of them get lunchtime jobs together at the local sandwich shop, Jimmy's, and bond over cheese sandwiches with smelly pickles.

One day Miranda finds her apartment mysteriously unlocked after school, and the spare key missing from its hiding spot, unnerving both her and her mother. Shortly thereafter Miranda receives the following mysterious note:

"This is hard. Harder than I expected, even with your help. But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well. I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. Second, please remember to mention the location of your house key. The trip is a difficult one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Els De Clercq on 15 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
When you reach me is a hard one to judge for me. It's definitely a thoughtful children's book (target audience is really younger children, rather than YA), but since I have never read A Wrinkle in Time (yes, yes, I know, I hang my head in shame - but then again it's probably a cultural thing. I grew up with books that were not in English!), I feel that much of the story's appeal didn't quite reach me.

When you reach me follows Miranda, a New York 6th grader, as she tries to figure the truth about a mysterious note she receives. At the same time Miranda talks about her friendships: old ones (Sal) and new ones (Annemarie and Colin). Another recurring theme is Miranda's mom's upcoming stint on the $20,000 Pyramid, a show hosted by the never-aging Dick Clark, and the existence of a weird homeless `laughing man' in her street.
In a story where everything is connected to everything, and with a bunch of references to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, this is a book for a smart 12-year-old who doesn't mind not going outside to play, but would rather sit down with a book (that is definitely low on the action & adventure front) for a few hours to figure out the mystery together with Miranda.

The book is well-written, the characters are developed nicely enough, the whole story neatly unfolds... but will it stick? I do expect a little bit more of a Newbery winner...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
WHEN YOU REACH ME was a one-sitting read for me.

Miranda lives in New York City with her mother. She and her best friend, Sal, spend most of their time together, navigating the ins and outs of life, school, and their neighborhood. One day when walking home from school, Sal gets punched in the stomach by an older boy who hangs out down the street from their apartment building. Sal pulls away from Miranda after that and stops hanging out with her. Miranda feels completely lost without him.

Since Miranda isn't spending much time with Sal anymore, she has plenty of time to help her mother prepare for an appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid. Miranda and Richard, her mother's boyfriend, drill her every night on different questions that could appear on the show. Sal's mother even takes notes on the game show every day to help.

Losing Sal's friendship bothers Miranda a lot. Not having him to talk to is bad enough, but she really hates walking home alone. Not only does she have to walk by the group of older boys by herself, she also has to walk past the crazy old man by the mailbox. Then, the notes start arriving - notes telling her things about the future.

Can Miranda trust the notes? Can she really save the life of someone she knows by doing what they say? You'll love following along with the mystery to find out what Miranda does, who she saves, and what the old man has to do with it.

If you like WHEN YOU REACH ME, you need to find THE POWER OF UN by Nancy Etchemendy. It is fantastic and shares some of the same story elements.

Reviewed by: Karin Librarian
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Philtrum on 11 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book a few months ago, having seen it recommended somewhere - perhaps on that pesky page-a-day Book-Lovers' calendar that's been the cause of way too much money draining out of my bank account over the last couple of years - but I picked it up to read on the day after I finished Peter F Hamilton's 1.25-million-word Night's Dawn Trilogy (genre: science fiction, sub-genre: space opera). Admittedly, I picked it up principally because it looked like an archetypal `slim volume'. I didn't even read the blurb. I just started reading it. After a few pages, I read the blurb and realised it was something called `middle-grade' fiction, which I now know to be a genre for - is this the right term? - `tweenies' - children who are too old for children's books but not old enough for YA (young adult) books.

At any rate, I'd read it in under three hours, and enjoyed it very much. From an adult perspective, it's more of a novella, which is fine, but, to my mind, the length was just right. I quite like reading (nearly) YA books from time to time. The audience forces authors to stick fairly closely to the point, avoiding too many digressions.

The story takes place in 1979 (or does it? hehe). Miranda (12) lives in New York City with her mother in an apartment. The story begins as, for reasons she knows not, her male friend (Sal) who she's known all her life no longer wants to talk to her. She makes some new friends and starts to receive bizarre notes on small scraps of paper.

The story develops quickly and, bizarrely, for me, having just finished, as noted, a mammoth science fiction trilogy, morphs into neat little SciFi tale.
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