A New Classic

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

(Wendy Lamb Books, Hardcover, 9780385737425, 199pp.)

I started this book a second time before it was due at the library, then had to purchase my own copy the day I returned it. I have my own hardcover – without those fancy stickers it’s destined to receive. The writing is tight, the voice believable, and the plot impossibly clever. Ms. Stead is a genius.

But don’t take my word for it.
Hear what everyone has been saying about
When You Reach Me
“[T]een readers will circle back to the beginning and say, ‘Wow…cool.’”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred
People Magazine
Closing revelations are startling and satisfying, but quietly made.
The Horn Book Magazine, Starred
“[Q]uite wonderful … [j]ust as Miranda rereads L’Engle, children will return to this.”
Booklist, Starred
“This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers.”
School Library Journal, Starred
“It’s easy to imagine readers studying Miranda’s story as many times as she’s read L’Engle’s.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred
“[I]t is one of the best children’s books I have ever read and books of this sort do not drop out of the sky every day.”
Fuse 8, School Library Journal blog
“Rebecca Stead has created a beautifully written work … WHEN YOU REACH ME is a masterpiece, and I highly recommend it.”
“Your younger ones will be enthralled.”
Westchester Magazine
“It’s really tightly written with a story that keeps unwrapping itself.”
“It is one of my must-recommends and one of the most interesting books I’ve read all year … All I can do is say: more, Rebecca Stead; much more.”
“[A] loving tribute to the children’s classic, A Wrinkle In Time.”
Becky’s Book Reviews
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is a book I won’t forget for quite a long time.”
“This book asks you to discard your habitual thoughts. Bravo!”
Shelf Awareness
“[Stead] spins an original tale that straddles two worlds—the fantastic and the realistic.”
Columbus Dispatch
“Readers … are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward.”
— The Wall Street Journal
“I loved When You Reach Me. Such an interesting premise, and a lovely nod to Madeleine L’Engle.”
— Ginger Knowlton
Vice President
Curtis Brown Ltd.
“Great is an oft-employed adjective I’m always wary of using to describe something, but it is the right word to use to describe this book.”
— Michael Stearns, agent
Firebrand Literary
“What could be better: a great setting, believable characters and a myustery deftly woven by a fine writer. This is a book to be reckoned with come Newbery Season.”
“An urban magician, she writes lovingly — and with keen insight … Rebecca Stead has written a beautiful and compelling novel for teens and everyone who loves them.”
— Janice Eidus, author of The War of the Rosens
“This book will haunt the reader. Rebecca Stead is a writer to watch!”
— Tamora Pierce, author of Bloodhound
“This book easily qualifies for the category ‘Things You Must Read.'”
— The Grand Rapids Press
“Easily one of the best middle-grade novels I’ve read in years … clever and fantastic.”
— Stephanie Anderson—Word Bookshop
“First rate characters, vivid details and a plot that defies logic, all come together to form a story that will warm your heart and exercise your mind. Brilliant.”
— Judy Hobbs—Third Place Books
When You Reach Me is a multi-layered puzzle of a book that unfolds into a collection of mini-mysteries … It almost demands a re-read!”
— Shannon O’Conner—Doylestown Books
“When You Reach Me is an intriguing and perfectly-plotted book – probably the best book I’ve read this year.”
— Katherine Bryk—Learned Owl Bookshop
“It is shimmering and funny and mysterious and timeless and one of my very favorite books. Which reminds me – I am going to read it again right now!”
— Jennifer Laughran—Books Inc
“It was beautifully written, and so lovingly plotted … There was NOTHING I didn’t love about this book.”
— Sarah Todd—Children’s Book World
“I still cannot get this book out of mind!”
— Andrea Vuleta—Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book
“I know no other book about which I would say so confidently: You will read this book more than once.”
— Bobbie Fishman—Labyrinth Books
“This is a beautiful story of glowing intelligence … The graceful complex plot line carries readers to a dazzling wrap up and, in this reader’s experience, pure joy.”
— Francine Lucidon– The Voracious Reader
“A remarkably fun book.”
— Alan Liu – Youth Advisory Group, Watermark Books
“It was a totally delightful read.”
— Liddy Rich – Common Good Books
“Stead’s superbly rich writing makes this one you’ll want to share with every reader you know.”
— Angela Sherrill – 57th Street Books
“I loved the discussion of time travel.”
— Vicki Erwin – Main Street Books
“It’s so rare to get that combination of perfectly real, sweet stories and ideas that are so completely new, so imaginative.”
— Katherine Fergason – Bunch of Grapes Bookstore
“I LOVED it! A great tale of friendship and self-discovery.”
— Jane Hannon – Bank Square Books
“What a stellar journey this book is … What a fantastically intriguing drop you on your head storyline. And oh, what a sweet, sweet love story.”
— Holly Myers—Elliott Bay Books
“It is a book that both warms your heart and challenges your mind – one title that you know you will read more than once and love every time you do.”
— Cindy Brewer– Cardinal Lane Bookfairs
“It is really a wonderful book.”
— Cindy Dach—Changing Hands Bookstore
“The slight mix of the fantastic is perfectly weaved into the coming-of-age story … I can’t wait to have this book in store.”
— Emily Fear—Joseph-Beth Booksellers
“About a third of the way into the book, I started flipping to the cover just to see what other surprises were around the corner. I love this book!”
— Carter Hasegawa—Harvard Bookstore
“It is a book that gives me funny feelings in my stomach and makes me want to look up and shake my fist at the sky; a book that made me weep; a book that I will be thinking about for a long, long time. . . When You Reach Me will be recognized and remembered as one of the truly great children’s books of 2009.”
— Richie Partington— MLIS
“This is one of the very few books I have ever read when I felt at the end I wanted to go back and start all over again . . . immediately.”
— Connie Rockman, Children’s Literature Consultant
“I can’t put When You Reach Me down! It’s so addictive.”
— A Perrot Memorial Library Young Critic
“When You Reach Me is, quite simply, the best children’s novel I have read in ages. In the tradition of Ellen Raskin and E. L. Konigsburg, with a hint of Madeleine L’Engle.”
— KT Horning, Director, Cooperative Children’s Book Center
“It’s a book that stays with you long after you’ve finished; one that you go back to, checking a fact here and there, a situation, a thought.”
— Betty Carter, retired Children’s Literature Professor
“In my perfect world of the (near) future, this one will be a part of every middle school librarian’s book talk repertoire. A book this outstanding is a pleasure to recommend. Add this to your shelf as soon as possible.”
— Travis Jonker, Elementary Library/Media Specialist, Michigan
“Reading it aloud to the kids … caused me to appreciate what a marvelous book it is.”
— Monica Edinger, The Dalton School Educating Alice, educator blog
“This book is an entire mystery until the very end. It was an excellent book that kept me on the edge of my seat.”
— c17am1, a student at The Dalton School
“A great conversation-starter for anyone who loves to ponder the “what-ifs” in life!”
— Melissa Bernardin, First Program Librarian at Dalton School, NY, NY
“Stead proves herself a master storyteller, weaving plot and character development seamlessly.”
— Laura Lutz, Children’s Materials Specialist, Queens Library
“Extraordinary! Delightful to read and brilliantly written.”
— Susan Geye, Summer Creek Middle School Librarian, Crowley, TX
“I enjoyed the subtle mystery and the humanity of the characters. I found it superb.”
— Marilyn Carpenter, Professor of Education, Eastern Washington University
“It’s finely wrought, exquisitely plotted, and emotionally satisfying. Read it–you’ll see.”
— Leda Schubert, Vermont
“The best kind of science fiction rings truer to the human condition than anything merely “realistic.” Stead pulls this off with a setting that is realistic, and will engage readers across genres. The tight time-travel plot stands against the best in literature. Phenomenal.”
— Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children’s Services, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA, Former Newbery Committee Chair
“Readers will be captivated as they read above, below, and between the lines to determine Miranda’s connection to all these things.”
— Brenda Day, Aledo Middle School Librarian, Aledo, TX
“I wish I could have read When You Reach Me when I was 10 or 11 or 12. It has everything I loved in a book then, and still do–friendship, romance, suspense, sadness, joy. . . all in a New York setting.”
— April Bedford, Associate Professor, University of New Orleans
“Rebecca Stead deftly weaves a magical story that treats its readers as intelligent thinkers. I plan to share this book with every middle level student I know!”
— Lettie K. Albright, Associate Professor of Literacy, Texas Woman’s University
“The character of Miranda is instantly believable, combined with an intricately crafted plot that is fantastically revealed at the conclusion. This book is destined to become a classic.”
— Sarah Hinkle, Children’s Librarian, Elmhurst Community Library
” Immediately buy copies for every middle school reader you know; this book is destined for greatness! … HUGELY recommended!”
— Ed Spicer, teacher and librarian
“The standout of the pack is Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Meset in Manhattan in the late 1970s.”
— The Austin American-Statesman
“No detail is small, no character minor, in this intricately plotted novel in which the nature of time emerges as the most compelling mystery of all.”
— The Washington Post
“This book is lovely and almost impossibly clever: a real winner.”
— The Philadelphia Inquirer