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2.11.12

When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead

With all of the news focusing on New York City, I thought it might be nice to think about a book set there.  This novel, When You Reach Me, popped into my head because I've been thinking about time travel, too.

This week in the calendar year is always a busy one around my house.  We like to have a mini family celebration to close the book on a year well spent by my son.  Monday night was to be our time to usher out age 11.  But, life happened and our small evening exploded out of our control. To restore order in our universe, last night I turned our front door into an ancient portal to the past and we re-lived October 29.  It was every thing we had hoped for.  And, the concept of an ancient portal thrilled my son.

You will find no time machines or ancient portals to the past in Rebecca Stead's award winning, When You Reach Me, but you get a hint about the plot outcomes when you learn that one of Miranda's compasses in life is the novel A Wrinkle in Time (props for the classics). The intrigue begins with Miranda and her best friend Sal aptly navigating the neighborhoods of New York City.  They are familiar with the landmarks, the safe places to go, and the people who regularly decorate the streets.  But, like my week, Miranda's life gets interrupted when Sal quits talking to her, the emergency apartment key is stolen, and 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."

Notes keep arriving, and the contents reveal that whoever is writing them knows Miranda well.  They even suggest that the author knows details about the future.  Miranda gets drawn into the mystery and is convinced that she has a part to play in it.  

I would recommend this book for anyone over 9 years old.  And, if you were a lover of A Wrinkle in Time, you just might enjoy this one yourself.

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