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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

One thing I’ve noticed about middle grade books is that they’ve gotten so much more dramatic and complex. Many of them are like adult books! They for sure are not about babysitting, family and friends, and what happens after school. I guess things like are no longer exciting enough for kid readers today.

This book is not like that. When you read it, it sounds like children’s novels from the 90s. There is a lot of dialogue and the characters feel very average. They don’t have special powers, they are definitely flawed, and this book is a slice of their lives. What’s interesting is that this book was inspired by A Wrinkle in Time, and the protagonist Miranda reads and talks about it throughout the book. Which makes sense because her story has to do with time traveling too! She gets messages throughout from this stranger, and she is supposed to save one of her friends. Basically

I am the Messenger + A Wrinkle in Time = When You Reach Me

Rebecca Stead does a wonderful job of providing just enough details and clues to make the story feel realistic, but too descriptive.  Everything feels like it has a purpose in this story, and it does. I would like to re-read this novel in the future and pick up on the clues and significance. I highly recommend this book!

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