I was inspired to take When You Reach Me home after reading Valerie’s post on A Wrinkle in Time. The book jacket grabbed me and so did the premise. I picked it up idly on a Sunday morning because I was putting off going to the grocery store – and I found that I couldn’t put it down.
This book has lots of stuff I like – it’s realism with a twist, has an urban setting (New York City), takes place in the 70s, and has as its main character a normal, average, and above all believable teenage girl (not to mention the fact that it won a Newbery Medal in 2010).
Miranda’s mother wins the chance to be on the $20,000 Pyramid, a game show. In the same year, Miranda’s best friend Sal gets punched on the street by a stranger and Miranda gets a series of creepy notes from someone who seems to know things before they happen. There’s a weird little mystery at the heart of this book, and one of my favourite things about it is how you realize, as you’re reading, that what seemed at first like a plausible and realistic setting may have more unusual things going on in it than you thought. To me, this book was a little like Donnie Darko meets A Girl Called Al - two of my favourite things.
-Kayleigh, children’s staff