Last night I finished reading When You Reach Me (2009), by Rebecca Stead. This is the second young adult novel that I have read by Ms. Stead, who lives in New York City, where her stories take place. I have reviewed/previewed a number of books that take place in New York lately. Maybe it’s because I live in rural California. City life in New York is a novelty.
This story is quite original, although it is heavily influenced by Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, another young adult novel that I enjoyed reading when I taught sixth grade. In fact, the main character, Miranda, carries her copy of Ms. L’Engle’s book with her, and receives a first edition as a birthday gift.
Time travel is seamlessly woven into the fabric of Ms. Stead’s tale, and she kept me guessing right up to the end. This is an appealing story about friendship, misunderstanding, loyalty, bravery, and thinking outside the box, not to mention how to stay safe in the city. Bravo!