When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Stead’s book accomplishes what I like best in a novel. The story of twelve-year-old Miranda is beautifully simple, yet littered with moments of wonderful insight.
Miranda is not especially anything — not suffering some great injustice nor blessed with exceptional intelligence or beauty. Maybe it is her ordinariness that makes her and her story so hypnotic. When the story opens she’s inexplicably estranged from a life-long friend and neighbor Sal. In the void, she ends up making some surprising — and yes, even magical — discoveries elsewhere. L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, a favorite of both the author and Miranda, provides a subtle time travel motif.
While When You Reach Me is at home in the genre of young adult literature, somehow it doesn’t read like Stead was writing it just for teens. Adults should read it, too. This book is a lovely and perfect small miracle. – Mrs. Vaughan, Harker librarian