Sunday, 26 July 2009

Rebecca Stead - When You Reach Me - Guest Review

This looks a great read from the U.S I have heard really good things about this book.

Book Review by Meghan Cox Gurdon (Thanks for this great Review!)

Young readers may not realize how terrific “When You Reach Me” is until they’ve almost finished it. Rebecca Stead’s writing here is so clean and unfussy that it’s ­almost deceptive: The complexity of the story is obvious in hindsight, but only the most attentive children are likely to catch all the author’s clues the first time through. At its heart, the book is a mystery, but ­precisely what puzzle is being solved in these closely plotted pages remains itself a mystery until the end, when the main character has a series of jaw-dropping realizations. We see events unfolding through the eyes of 12-year-old Miranda, who lives with her single mother in a scruffy Manhattan high-rise in 1979. A savvy latchkey kid, Miranda normally walks home from school with her best friend, Sal, past the intimidating boys who lurk by the garage and past the crazy homeless guy who has recently started hanging out on the corner. Then things start going wrong. One of the garage boys ­inexplicably punches Sal in the stomach. Suddenly, Sal won’t talk to Miranda, and someone steals the ­extra key to her apartment. Soon, Miranda begins ­receiving enigmatic notes on bits of paper: “I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own,” reads the first message. “The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you.” Readers age 9-15 (and older) will share Miranda’s wonderment as she discovers who has been communicating with her, and why, and are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward.

Book Published by Wendy Lamb Books July 14, 2009

Book Synopsis

Four mysterious letters change Miranda's world forever. 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, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner. But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid 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 Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper: I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own. I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. 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.


prophecygirl said...

This sounds really good. Thanks for the review!

Tanya said...

Thanks for the review. My eye was drawn to this book when I saw it on the shelf at the bookstore where I work and the premise sounded interesting. I will definitely bump it up on my list of books to read. Sounds a bit like Wendy Mass' "Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life," which I love.