Reviewed by Tilly 10yrs. old - Tween Book Reviewer and Sometimes Writer
Book-bag pocket-shoe. These are the words of the laughing man. What can they mean?
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is a story about Miranda, who is in Yr 6 and best friend with Sal, the boy from her building. At least they were friends until the weird kid at school punched Sal for no reason. Now Sal won’t talk to Miranda and she doesn’t know why.
Then something strange happens. Miranda starts getting letters. She doesn’t know who is sending them. In this mystery, Miranda must figure out who is sending her letters, because it’s getting kind of creepy. In the first letter the writer claims her friend is in danger and he needs to save them.
Most of this story is in first person, from Miranda’s point of view. One unusual thing Rebecca Stead did with this novel was to also include the second person point of view. Second person is when a story uses ‘you’ as a pronoun. It feels like Miranda is speaking to you when you’re reading.
The characters in this story felt real. Sometimes they did things wrong and made mistakes but they were trying their best and this made me care about the characters. One of of my favourite characters was the laughing man, an old homeless guy who does strange things every day like murmuring ‘book-bag pocket-shoe’ or even practices kicking in the air. He also sleeps with his head under the mailbox. Miranda is another character I love because she tries really hard at things but sometimes they still don’t come out the way she wants. It makes me feel like she’s a normal person.
When You Reach Me is set in New York City. New York City is very populated which makes it a dangerous city for Miranda to just roam around. But by the end of the book I liked the city Miranda lived in, because I really got to know Miranda’s part of town.
I recommend this book for girls, no matter what age. It's a story about relationships and puzzles. I like solving mysteries and you can try and solve Miranda’s mystery before she does.