Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (August 8, 2016): When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Edit (October 6, 2016): A formatting error has been fixed.
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.