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When You Reach Me
Cover of When You Reach Me
When You Reach Me
Winner of the 2010 John Newbery MedalFour mysterious letters change Miranda's world forever.By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They...
Winner of the 2010 John Newbery MedalFour mysterious letters change Miranda's world forever.By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They...
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  • Winner of the 2010 John Newbery Medal

    Four mysterious letters change Miranda's world forever.

    By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

    But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:

    I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own.
    I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

    The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.

    From the Hardcover edition.

 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book Things You Keep in a Box

    So Mom got the postcard today. It says Congratulations in big curly letters, and at the very top is the address of Studio TV-15 on West 58th Street. After three years of trying, she has actually made it. She's going to be a contestant on The $20,000 Pyramid, which is hosted by Dick Clark.

    On the postcard there's a list of things to bring. She needs some extra clothes in case she wins and makes it to another show, where they pretend it's the next day even though they really tape five in one afternoon. Barrettes are optional, but she should definitely bring some with her. Unlike me, Mom has glossy red hair that bounces around and might obstruct America's view of her small freckled face.

    And then there's the date she's supposed to show up, scrawled in blue pen on a line at the bottom of the card: April 27, 1979. Just like you said.

    I check the box under my bed, which is where I've kept your notes these past few months. There it is, in your tiny handwriting: April 27th: Studio TV-15, the words all jerky-looking, like you wrote them on the subway. Your last "proof."

    I still think about the letter you asked me to write. It nags at me, even though you're gone and there's no one to give it to anymore. Sometimes I work on it in my head, trying to map out the story you asked me to tell, about everything that happened this past fall and winter. It's all still there, like a movie I can watch when I want to. Which is never.


    Things That Go Missing

    Mom has swiped a big paper calendar from work and Scotch-taped the month of April to the kitchen wall. She used a fat green marker, also swiped from work, to draw a pyramid on April 27, with dollar signs and exclamation points all around it.

    She went out and bought a fancy egg timer that can accurately measure a half minute. They don't have fancy egg timers in the supply closet at her office.

    April twenty-seventh is also Richard's birthday. Mom wonders if that's a good omen. Richard is Mom's boyfriend. He and I are going to help Mom practice every single night, which is why I'm sitting at my desk instead of watching after-school TV, which is a birthright of every latchkey child. "Latchkey child" is a name for a kid with keys who hangs out alone after school until a grown-up gets home to make dinner. Mom hates that expression. She says it reminds her of dungeons, and must have been invented by someone strict and awful with an unlimited child-care budget. "Probably someone German," she says, glaring at Richard, who is German but not strict or awful.

    It's possible. In Germany, Richard says, I would be one of the Schlusselkinder, which means "key children."

    "You're lucky," he tells me. "Keys are power. Some of us have to come knocking." It's true that he doesn't have a key. Well, he has a key to his apartment, but not to ours.

    Richard looks the way I picture guys on sailboats—tall, blond, and very tucked-in, even on weekends. Or maybe I picture guys on sailboats that way because Richard loves to sail. His legs are very long, and they don't really fit under our kitchen table, so he has to sit kind of sideways, with his knees pointing out toward the hall. He looks especially big next to Mom, who's short and so tiny she has to buy her belts in the kids' department and make an extra hole in her watchband so it won't fall off her arm.

    Mom calls Richard Mr. Perfect because of how he looks and how he knows everything. And every time she calls him Mr. Perfect, Richard taps his right knee. He does that because his right leg is shorter than his left one. All his...

About the Author-

  • Rebecca Stead is the author of First Light. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and their two sons.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books annalise - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, is about an 11 year old girl who starts getting notes from an anonymous person saying that there are here to save her friends life, more and more start coming with hints about the future, proof that her friend's life is in danger. With many different aspects, love, mystery, and science fiction this book appeals to all types of readers. Some parts of the book get very confusing but in the end a twist in the story resolves everything. I would recommend this book to older kids because of the wording but it is still enjoyable for younger kids.This was the best best best book i've ever ever read.Rebecca Stead is the most brilliant author ever. It's so thrilling and suspenseful @ the same time. I had no idea it was coming out in paperback but I found out you can buy it off of this website. I cant wait to read Liar and spy, her new book.This book is totally awesome. It's full of mystery, and it's complicated, but very well written. I reccomend it to people who liked A Wrinkle In Time.This is awesome book about the mystery of time travel and this homeless guy saved main character's best friend. It is strange and complicated, but i think this is good for ten years and up.This is a amazing book. its suspence. It also has fantsy drama and mystery. My friend and i read it for our book report. This books is amazing!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 22, 2009
    Twelve-year-old Miranda, a latchkey kid whose single mother is a law school dropout, narrates this complex novel, a work of science fiction grounded in the nitty-gritty of Manhattan life in the late 1970s. Miranda’s story is set in motion by the appearance of cryptic notes that suggest that someone is watching her and that they know things about her life that have not yet happened. She’s especially freaked out by one that reads: “I’m coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.” Over the course of her sixth-grade year, Miranda details three distinct plot threads: her mother’s upcoming appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid
    ; the sudden rupture of Miranda’s lifelong friendship with neighbor Sal; and the unsettling appearance of a deranged homeless person dubbed “the laughing man.” Eventually and improbably, these strands converge to form a thought-provoking whole. Stead (First Light
    ) accomplishes this by making every detail count, including Miranda’s name, her hobby of knot tying and her favorite book, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time
    . It’s easy to imagine readers studying Miranda’s story as many times as she’s read L’Engle’s, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises. Ages 9–14.

  • Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, July & August 2009: "Readers ... are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward."

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    Random House Children's Books
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