When You Reach Me…


My family’s exploration through Newbery Medal Award Winners continues with Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me.

I have updated our rankings accordingly.  Again, the following list does not include the works that did not happen to be award winners (but that we still enjoyed as a family) – such as the seven books included in The Chronicles of NarniaHatchet (an honor recipient), or The Hobbit.

Here is the list to date (along with my respective reviews):

  1. The One and Only Ivan (2013)
  2. Bridge to Terabithia (1978) 
  3. Dead End in Norvelt (2012)
  4. Shiloh (1992)
  5. When You Reach Me (2010)
  6. Holes (1990)
  7. A Wrinkle in Time (1963)
  8. Moon Over Manifest (2011)
My favorite quote from this book was when the main character observes, “Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way. But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there’s a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don’t have to depend on the wind anymore.” 

Miranda learns the valuable lesson that people are not always as they appear.  And that a conversation might just bring about clarity (and even community).  

Truly one of the best books we have read thus far . . . it is just that the list of great books is growing.  The disparity between the top few of the selections is minimal.  One of my favorite aspects of this narrative is that the author shows respect to another Newbery Award Winner (and one that we have already read from).  Because of that, my children were enjoying the numerous allusions and similarities between the two stories.  
Our next selection will be The Graveyard Book.  I usually try to steer clear of any books that include witches, ghosts, and the like (at least while my children are young).  But the reviews (from sites that I trust) seemed to suggest that the author uses such mythical characters with tact and intention.  
Has anyone read it?  Feedback?  
When You Reach Me…

2 thoughts on “When You Reach Me…

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