When You Reach Me

Twelve-year-old Miranda is living in New York City with her mom, who has just learned she will be a contestant on the 20,000 Pyramid game show (book is set in the 70’s). Excitement abounds and Miranda helps her mom prepare for the show with timed quizzes. Miranda is a latch key kid, and when she starts receiving some unusual notes from an unknown person she is intrigued, and a little spooked. This mysterious person claims to have some important information of things yet to happen, and Miranda wonders what it all means.

Miranda’s favorite book is A Wrinkle in Time, and there are parallels to the book and the story that is unfolding in When You Reach Me.

This was an interesting read, part mystery, part coming of age, part drama, and fully entertaining. The characters are all well developed and the background of life in the big city in the 70’s is believable. What I loved about the book is the big splash at the end. Every piece of the plot puzzle comes together, and readers will be saying, “Oh, I get it now.” Some of the story may not make sense until the big ending. What seem to be inconsequential plot threads end up forming a cool tapestry.

We listened to the audio book, and everyone enjoyed it from mom and dad right down to the 9-year-old. And, there was nothing objectionable. I’m not sure I would say it is the best book we read, but it’s good enough to recommend.

When You Reach Me is the 2010 Newbery winner.

Author’s website

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