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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

This book is strange and enticing and hard to unravel, perhaps the strangest Newbery Winner to date. (In one clever passage, paying homage to an earlier Newbery Winner, A Wrinkle in Time, Marcus, Miranda’s 6th grade classmate, says, “So if they had gotten home five minutes before they left, like those ladies promised they would, then they would have seen themselves get back. Before they left.”)

OK, so Miranda lives in Manhattan in the late 1970s (I think). She has a best friend named Sal who stops speaking to her after being punched, for no apparent reason, by the strange kid, Marcus. She has a lovely relationship with her mother (a paralegal hoping to win some money on the TV show The $20,000 Pyramid), and her mother’s quite-nice guy. Miranda negotiates the shifting friendships and alliances in 6th grade, re-reads A Wrinkle in Time, is concerned with the street person her mother dubs “laughing man,” and is definitely receiving a series of notes which may be from the future. The quirky humor, the authentic setting, and detailed characterizations ground this subtle, quiet, mystery that blooms into science, or science fiction, or simply, revelation. It’s hard to describe, but well worth reading. I’m not sure what grade reader it’s for, but I would start with 6th and go up from there.  --Ga

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$7.99
ISBN: 9780375850868
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yearling - December 28th, 2010