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When You Reach Me

Written by: Rebecca Stead
Narrated by: Cynthia Holloway
Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Four mysterious letters change Miranda's world forever.....

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then 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.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death - until the final note makes her think she's too late.

©2009 Rebecca Stead (P)2009 Random House

What the critics say

"[W]hen all the sidewalk characters from Miranda's Manhattan world converge amid mind-blowing revelations and cunning details, teen readers will circle back to the beginning and say,'Wow... cool.'" (Kirkus Reviews)  

"[T]he mental gymnastics required of readers are invigorating; and the characters, children, and adults are honest bits of humanity no matter in what place or time their souls rest." (Booklist)

What listeners say about When You Reach Me

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    4 out of 5 stars

Such a Good Novel

"It's simple to love someone. It's hard to know when to say it out loud." I listened to this one as an audiobook so I got a bit of a different experience with this one. I loved that I was able to hear the change in emotions and how the characters grew throughout the book. This was basically an ode to A WRINKLE IN TIME and I loved that book so this one was great to me. I did think that Miranda sounded a little older than 12 at some times but I think she was still a great character and narrator. It's written in a way that makes it easy to read but there are a lot of complex things in the pages that you don't realize it is only 200 pages long. I would have liked it to be a little longer or maybe some more details of the friendships and about Miranda's conversations with her friends. I think there could have been more flushed out aspects of the way that Miranda changed. She talks about how she saw herself being mean and wanted to adjust that but then there were only little hints to it rather than how tough it can be to actually do that, especially as a kid. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who wants a bit of sci-fi with their middle grade novels. I liked to see the world through Miranda's eyes and wish I could have spent a little more time in her world.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • 2011-06-23

Simply fantastic!

I've been recommending this book to everyone I can, adult and children alike. I've listened to it twice already and enjoyed it tremendously. My six year old daughter loved it too (though I'm sure she didn't understand all of it). This book is my absolute favorite kind of book. A tautly written, tightly plotted story in which all the pieces only make sense after you've read the story.
It was the best book I listened to (or read) last year!

5 people found this helpful

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  • B. Injasoulian
  • 2015-09-16

Stellar

My 11 year old son and I were completely transfixed by the story. Tightly woven, engaging, and a brilliant thought exercise on time travel. Trippy in the best way and filled with lovable, imperfect characters. I was particularly happy with the adult characters who were crafted with uncommon respect and connectedness. We are ordering her new book right now!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brianna
  • 2009-12-26

Excellent intrigue story

This is a very interesting and exciting book. Really holds your attention and interest from thebeginning to finish. I will listen to it again, I am sure!I already have my older sister listening to it..and I suspect my Nona will want to hear it too! So, in my home, interest in this story is across ages 10 to 70! Great !!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Bridget L.
  • 2019-08-03

Summer reading gem

My 10 year old son selected When You Reach Me as one of his 3 summer reading books. He finished it in 2 days and raved that it was his best pick ever. He was excited to tell us all about what happened.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Frank
  • 2019-02-19

Confusing

Too many sub-plots made the stew too rich for me and confusing at times. A Newberry winner does not mean it's a book all will enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • KnightFam
  • 2018-10-08

Terrible narration

The story probably would've been good, but my kids and I couldn't get past the terrible narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Devon
  • 2015-08-04

awesome

This book is very interesting And easy to follow with a good feel for the reader

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chandana Sreerambhatla
  • 2020-08-18

😁

This was an amazing book and the author is very smart. I like this book a lot! I love it! ❤️❤️❤️

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-08-02

Loved it So Much!

Complicated but exciting story. Understood it perfectly wish it didn't end so fast (っ•̀ω•́)っ✎⁾⁾ φ(゚∀゚ )

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  • Seth Brody
  • 2020-06-23

When you reach me review

I loved this book because I thought it was mysterious. It had an action mystery, love, suspense, and so much more. I don’t know how you came up with this plot but it is a page turner. I loved the part about the mystery in every note the laughing man wrote. I was confused, excited, and surprised all at the same time. I could also connect with the main character. I almost felt as if I was her. I am definitely reading another one of your books. Thank you for this amazing read.