Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (August 8, 2016): When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Edit (October 6, 2016): A formatting error has been fixed.

Hi! Welcome to my new blog, Completely Full Bookshelf! This post is for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (MMGM), a meme created by middle-grade author Shannon Messenger, author of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. As a reader of these books and a student who recently completed middle school, I decided to join the MMGM fun with my own blog! Today, I am reviewing Newbery Medal-winning When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead.

Here's the publisher's description:

This remarkable novel holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart.

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late.

Firstly, this book is one of my favorites of all time. The setting of New York City in 1979 is incredibly believable and descriptive, and adds depth to the story. The main character, Miranda, is a great character and narrator, and the other characters in the story, such as friends that Miranda makes in the story, are enjoyable and have interesting personalities. The classic A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle is often discussed, and hints at the end resolution of When You Reach Me. Finally, the question of who is sending the notes is an interesting one, and has an amazing answer. All in all, When You Reach Me is a book that everyone, kid or adult, will love and appreciate.


  1. Welcome to MMGM. I enjoyed this book and also LIAR & SPY. Rebecca Stead is the best.

  2. Welcome to MMGM! I am curious as to whether you've read A Wrinkle in Time. It's a favorite of teachers and librarians, but it's hard to get my middle school students to read it. Have fun with your blog!

  3. This sounds absolutely fabulous! Mystery's are always fun if they're good, and it sounds like this one is! Welcome to MMGM!

  4. This is one of my favorites too. It's really different and intriguing and my favorite of all of Stead's work. Welcome to MMGM!

  5. Nice to see you joining MMGM. This is a book I really loved as well. Rebecca Stead is a spectacular writer. Thanks for your review.

  6. Welcome to MMGM! Thank you for your review, I love this book!

  7. I reread this book a few months ago, and it seems to get better every time I read it! Congratulations on your new blog.

  8. This sounds like something I'd love!


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