Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Recommendation: WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead

In a recent blog post, Nathan Bransford asked his readers to name their favorite books of 2009. As I skimmed the comments section of that post, one title kept jumping out at me: Rebecca Stead's WHEN YOU REACH ME. After looking up a brief blurb on the book, I decided to give it a try--and promptly finished it within about a day of checking it out from the library.

Ms. Stead's sophomore novel chronicles the sixth grade year of main character Miranda. That year ends with her mother's appearance on the old TV game show THE $20,000 PYRAMID, but it starts with her discovery of a strange note. The note, written on an old, crusty scrap of paper, asks a favor of her: write a letter describing the events of that year, and then deliver it to the note's unknown sender. If she doesn't, she risks her friend's life. But if she does, she'll be turning her back on just about everything she thought she knew.

The absurdity of this request, and the seeming randomness of all the little details she includes, pushed me to the end faster than I would have liked. When I'm enjoying a book, really enjoying it, I like to hold back, give myself something to savor for at least a few days. But I couldn't stop reading this; I had to know--HAD TO KNOW--what was going on.

If you're looking for a good book for your nine- to twelve-year-old, give this one a shot. In fact, if you're looking for a good book, period, look no further.

1 comment:

Myrna Foster said...

I started writing a review on this one two weeks ago, but then I didn't finish it. I agree that it is wonderful.