I’m doing a reading group with four kids ages 10-13. Our first read was WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead. We so often hear what adults have to say about this book, but since it’s technically children’s literature, and won the Newbery Medal for greatest contribution to children’s literature, I think we should hear more what the kids have to say. Here are their reviews. (I withheld spoiler content.)
When you reach me is a story about a girl named Miranda who gets mysterious letters from someone from the future. She doesn’t know who but she’s worried. Miranda talks to her friend Marcus about time travel.
I thought that the time traveling was so mind-boggling! I think it was interesting that [person x] was the one sending the letters to Miranda. Also, I thought the mom was really funny, but I’ve got to say my favorite character was the laughing man.
Eli, Grade 6
When You Reach Me was a great book. I loved how the author made so many possibilities, and how she made “the note writer” a mystery until the end. There were so many things that I thought were just part of her life that turned out to be really important. For example, Julia and her understanding of time travel. And Marcus punching Sal. And the Laughing Man. I though he was this crazy old man.
The book raised so many suspicions, but I have one questions. Why did [person x] send the letters through Miranda and not Sal? Did [person x] think they couldn’t get to Sal as easily as Miranda? As I said, this book raises so many suspicions.
Whitney, Grade 4
I liked this book a lot and thought it was very creative. I loved all of the specific details. I loved to see how all of those small things in the beginning made sense and then just unraveled at the end. In my opinion, I would recommend this book for 11+, or just anyone who can understand it.
Isaac, Grade 8
I think the time traveling is confusing but once you get further you start to get it. When you Reach Me is an awesome book, but I also have theories. When Miranda gets all these notes I notice she stays completely calm. I know I would be flipping out. Also, I never thought a person could explain time travel like Rebecca Stead did. My favorite character was Marcus. When I read about him he explained time travel in a way I could understand.
Saraiah, Grade 4