When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
By Olivia Guitron, Courier Correspondent
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is a story about a girl named Miranda who is in high school. She is a typical teenage girl who worries about the things that girls worry about, however she is sort of different. She enjoys a particular science-fiction book called A Wrinkle in Time, which, if you havenít heard or read it, is about a girl who goes through time travel and many other sci-fi adventures.
The book has many different things going on at once; Mirandaís mom being in a game show, Miranda wondering about some homeless guy she sees around, her newly found job at a bakery with an obsessive compulsive type of boss who wonít let her eat the meats for lunch, but will let her eat the lettuce and cheeses, and her relationships with her friends beginning to diminish.
The main plot of the novel, however, regards the homeless man. Miranda and her friends canít seem to let go of the fact that he is odd and spends his days kicking, hanging around under a mailbox, and whispering what seems like nonsense. Miranda canít help but feel that there is something going on with that man, which she names the ďLaughing ManĒ. She and her friend canít help but wonder about time travel because of her novel, A Wrinkle in Time. A lot goes on in the book, one moment in particular that stands out is that Miranda starts getting weird messages about the future, and about the different things that will happen to her, which eventually turn out to be true.
The end comes with a crescendo, one that will leave readers thinking a lot. It involves the Laughing Man, and why he does the things he does. It also explains the mysterious letters, and has a lot to do with the sci-fi novel that Miranda loves and rereads various times. Some readers, like me, have read this book and had to reread parts of it because some parts were either confusing or not understandable until after you have read the end. I definitely recommend it because it is a good book to read if you like sort of mysteries that involve making you think about the end and how it has to do with the other parts of the book. It is a good book to read because itís really not that difficult to follow, and the end is the only part that can really be said to be sort of confusing; otherwise, a nice read.