When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It took me almost half way through the book to catch on to the significance of each chapter title. At first it seemed like weird, random ramblings of an upper elementary girl but once the pattern appeared I had to read it all the way to the end. Even knowing how the story resolves, a second read through would certainly uncover additional details.
Rebecca Stead writes an easy to read mystery that would serve as a good introduction to science fiction. Geared towards upper elementary readers, the story deals with platonic relationships and only once has a fleeting kiss. Set in a city of the 1970's, issues of race, divorce and latchkey kids are addressed. Some readers may need to watch reruns of the $25,000 Pyramid game show on YouTube to understand how the game was played.
Miranda, the main character often refers to her favorite book "A Wrinkle in Time." It is not necessary to have read L'Engle's book to enjoy the story, and may even encourage young readers to tackle more difficult time travelling tales. Overall I recommend this book for upper elementary or young middle school students as an introduction to science fiction and mysterious twists that resolve right at the very end.
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