Book Review

Book Review: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach MeWhen You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books

middle grade science fiction

Is time travel possible? Will Miranda’s mother win $20,000? And why did her closest friend, Sal, suddenly push her out of his life? On top of all of this, an anonymous person sends Miranda four mysterious notes warning her of the future and giving her proof that the warnings are real. But she cannot accept that they are really for her or are serious until the proof begins revealing itself to her.

This was a great story about getting out of your comfort zone which is such an important concept during the middle grade years. Miranda branches out and meets new friends, befriends her enemies, and learns that not everything is to be envied… that things are not always as they appear.

Stead includes a lovely nod to L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time. It is Miranda’s favorite book that she carries with her wherever she goes. I love that her interest in a book makes the seemingly impossible things that happen over the course of the story seem possible to her. This could be Stead’s way of reminding that books are incredibly powerful.

Stead gives us a roller coaster filled with sweet moments, troubling puzzles, and revelations that change Miranda for the better. I really enjoyed this book!

Unrealistic fiction for middle grade books tend to be heavy on the fantasy and lighter on the science fiction. When You Reach Me has the classic middle grade elements of focusing on family and friends, coming of age, etc. But this title would be good for the middle grade reader who shows an interest in science fiction over fantasy. It could be a special read for those who really loved Wrinkle in Time.

I would recommend this title for purchase for a public library collection. I would also recommend this title for a book club.

View all my reviews