Friday, January 8, 2010

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Told from the point of view of a rapidly developing 6th grader, When You Reach Me is a bit like an updated A Wrinkle in Time, with a few decidedly contemporary twists. Set in New York in the 1970's, this very sweet (but not saccharine) coming of age story features a single mother, an only child, and freshly illustrated racial tension. It also features time travel. When Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes that seem to predict the future, the story really starts to pick up. Immaculately crafted, such that many clues are set from first chapter well into the last, When You Reach Me is a great choice for attentive readers who enjoy a bit of puzzle-solving in their reading, not quite to the extent of The Westing Game, but perhaps akin to The Mysterious Benedict Society. And, for those in the 8-12 age range who are just dying to grow up as fast as possible, there's even a bit of romance, albeit, very age-appropriate romance (think kiss and then run for your life). Newbery Winners are not announced for 2010 until January 16th, but this book already has its fair share of buzz.

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