Saturday, January 30, 2010

review: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

1. Sometimes hype is bad for a book, because it can raise expectations so high that it has no chance of reaching said expectations.

2. For a few minutes, I was worried that this book was a case of that.

3. I was completely wrong.

4. In the end, this book floored me, it shook me, it more than deserves it's brand-spanking new Newbery Medal.

5. Setting: New York City, the apartment of sixth grader Miranda and her single mom, an elementary school with a persnickety secretary, a dingy sandwich shop, a street-corner mailbox

6. Characters: the darling Miranda and her childhood playmate Sal, their mothers, Miranda's mom's boyfriend, the homeless man down the street, various school friends, the book A Wrinkle in Time.

7. Plot: Miranda receives a bizarre note that asks her to detail all the events leading up to...something she doesn't even know but which is supposed to be bad. Other notes mean more mysteries, her best friend isn't speaking to her for an unknown reason and she chooses to spend her free time helping her mom prepare to be on a game show. Of course, there's a lot more to it than that.

8. It's the perfect balance of heart and puzzle, character and plot development.

9. I LOVE LOVE LOVE when I think I know how something is going to work out and I end up being completely wrong.

10. Even if you do not normally read middle-grade fiction, I think this book might still be for you - it's also so much about growing up, finding your place, making real decisions and sticking up for the people you love. Add to it a random punch in the stomach, a plastic Fred Flintstone piggy-bank and Dick Clark:
you've got a WINNER.


morninglight mama said...

Wasn't this just stupendous?! JAM and I read it together, and man oh man, it was killing me to not just finish it all on my own in one sitting while he was at school! I adored this, and we're going to start A Wrinkle in Time together, maybe this week. I was just blown away, and I loved that it gave me a chance to compare it to my own favorite novel- with so many similar themes. Just wonderful, and definitely deserving of the Newbery!

Tricia said...

I quite literally cheered when this won the Newbery. I'm so glad you loved it too!

Melissa said...

Um, yeah, what those two said. :-D

alisonwonderland said...

I loved it too!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...