Wednesday, May 2, 2012

when you reach me

Buy it on amazon

I don't usually read young-adult novels, but When You Reach Me is the second great one I've come across recently. Rebecca Stead perfectly captures the Upper West Side of 1978 and 79: gritty, a little dangerous, and full of mystery. Her narrator, Miranda, perfectly conveys a 12-year-old's sweetness, confusion and sass. As Stead has explained, she chose the setting (the time and place of her own childhood) so she could depict kids with more freedom than today—and more access to adventure. Then Stead threw in some mysterious notes, a suddenly remote best friend, and the possibility of time travel...and remember the game show "The $20,000 Pyramid"? Quaint, right? I won't give away the plot; I'm re-reading it with Charlie now, and he's equally fascinated (and much better at reading clues than I was). Just trust me that it's compelling and incredibly moving.

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