Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me

Fall 2009 Fiction
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
ISBN: 978-0-385-73742-5
Hardcover Price: $15.99
Miranda's best friend Sal no longer speaks to her. Her mother is growing increasingly frustrated with her job and is desperate to win a game show. The crazy man who sleeps under the mailbox on the corner has started speaking to her. At school, she keeps having confusing conversations about time travel with two people she's never been friends with and isn't sure she wants to be. And, she has started receiving disturbing notes from someone who knows things about her and who has the key to her apartment-notes from a person who says that he or she is trying to save a friend's life.

Although Stead frequently references L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, and discusses some of the problems and paradoxes inherent in time travel, she really focuses on Miranda's development into a more thoughtful and caring person. Teen readers who don't normally like science fiction will avidly follow the friendship politics in which Miranda gets herself tangled, and more traditional science fiction fans will enjoy piecing together the puzzle set for Miranda by her anonymous note-writer. Stead's novel is well written and perfectly paced; a treat to read.

Naomi Lesley   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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