Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When You Reach Me-- Rebecca Stead

Fans of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time: this book is for you. It's also for those of us who want a charming story with a slight mystery and a touch of fantasy.

Miranda lives in New York City in 1979. Her mother is a hippy turned almost-lawyer and they live in an apartment building in a safe-ish neighborhood. Each day on the way home from school, Miranda passes the Laughing Man, a homeless guy who is harmless but crazy. When her best friend Sal ditches her, Miranda must look for other friends besides Charlie, Meg, and the other characters in A Wrinkle in Time. This story is told from Miranda's perspective, and because of this, we view her world through L'Engle tinted glasses... but it's subtle and even if you aren't a fan of the book (or read it so long ago you can't remember anything about it, like me), you will still be engaged by Miranda's story. When You Reach me is a touching tale of what life used to be like, of middle school, and of friendship.

Readers of this blog will know that I don't often read this sort of book... but I'm glad I did. After all of the angsty stuff I fill my brain with, this book was a well-written and welcomed break. It's definitely for the younger end of YA... in fact my library has this book cataloged as J. Fans of Gary Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars will enjoy this book.

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