Sunday, February 7, 2010

2010 Newbery winner - When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (author of Caudill nominee First Light) is this year's Newbery winner. Set in 1979 NYC, 12 year old Miranda and her best friend Sal know their way around their neighborhood, where it is safe and where it is not. Miranda's hard working paralegal mom is getting ready to be a contestant on the $20,000 Pyramid. Cryptic notes written on very small pieces of paper begin to appear in Miranda's things. It is clear that the person writing them knows a lot about Miranda and needs her help to save a friend of hers' life. Miranda's favorite book is Wrinkle in Time, and as she rereads that time travel story, it becomes clear that the messages may be coming from the future. The setting of this evenly paced fantasy adventure keep many of our modern conveniences out of the plot (computers, cell phones, the Internet). Because of that Miranda's experiences have a timeless quality. The connections with Wrinkle in Time (1963 Newbery winner), will captivate and intrigue fans of that story but prior reading of that story is not necessary to the enjoyment of this tale of friendship, family and personal growth.

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