Children’s Chapter Book: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Miranda’s favorite book is A Wrinkle in Time, so that hooked me from the beginning.  She’s a little lost, because her best friend dumped her after he was randomly punched by a stranger.  Her mom is practicing for her upcoming spot on the $20,000 Pyramid game show.  There’s a mentally ill guy living near her apartment, who sleeps under her mailbox and blurts out random words.   Miranda ends up making a few new friends, including the stranger who punched her former best friend.  When the story seems to be a normal tale of middle school life, the ending has a twist that completely changes everything.  It’s set in 1979, but there isn’t much in the book (other than Dick Clark and the game show) to date it.  It did seem more like a young adult book to me than a chapter book.  It’s cover is a turn off and there’s no synopsis, so it’s a hard sell to kids.  That’s a shame–I thought it was a great book.

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