When You Reach Me
Rebecca Stead, 2009
Miranda's mother is invited to appear on a TV quiz show, her best friend is pummeled by a school bully, and a homeless man on the corner makes walking to and from school a scary transaction. In the midst of all this, mysterious notes start appearing in secretive places, suggesting an intimate knowledge of Miranda's life—including certain events before they happen.
By the end, Stead pulls together the multiple plot strands to everyone's surprise and enlighten-ment. It all seems simple enough.
But the story's solution hangs on the possibility of time travel—and that exploration provides a layer of sophistication that's mind-bending and fun. To travel back in time, for example, means you would arrive before you leave. Can you get your head around that one? Well, Miranda does ... finally.
I love this book ... and traveling forward in time, I see lively book club discussions about time and time-travel, parenting and friendship.
See our Reading Guide for When You Reach Me.
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