Saturday, February 19, 2011

When You Reach Me Review

Book Talk:  Miranda's life already feels strange enough now that Sal isn't talking to her.  It means she has to find new friends to spend lunch with, and walk home alone past the gang of older boys, and the man who sleeps with his head under the mail box and constantly talks to himself.  But Miranda's life gets a lot stranger when she finds a note in her library book one day.  She keeps finding notes in the oddest places, and when they begin to predict the future she gets really scared, especially when the notes tell her that one of her friends might die.  Who is sending the notes, and how can she change her future, especially once it becomes her past?

Rocks my socks: I enjoyed the characters in the novel for all of their quirks and for the hidden surprises to be found in many of them.  Miranda's first impressions of people are often proven wrong as she gets to know them better.  I appreciated the references to Wrinkle in Time and could probably stand to take a cue from the lessons Miranda learns about the importance of getting to know people and make new friends.

Rocks in my socks: Even though the book deals with time travel I wouldn't call it a science fiction book, and it certainly isn't intended for a science fiction audience.  As a result it spends a lot of time explaining basics of time travel that would be obvious and completely unnecessary for any sci-fi fan.  I enjoyed the characters and the time travel theme, but I just felt that neither of them were taken far enough to really interest me.  Perhaps this is a problem resulting from high expectations, but I really thought that a Newbery winner would have more for me to sink my teeth into.

Every book its reader: Despite the time-travel element I wouldn't give this to a sci-fi fan for the aforementioned reasons.  There isn't actually much in this novel for them.  The exception to this would be fans of A Wrinkle in Time who would probably enjoy all the references to it.  I would give it to fans of general fiction with female protagonists and to fans of fiction based in school settings.  Grades 5 +

Bonus Quote: "It's simple to love someone...but it's hard to know when you need to say it out loud"

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Support your local independent book store or check it out from your local library.

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