Monday, January 20, 2014

2010 - When You Reach Me

I ran across this book the other day when I was skimming the titles in the children's book section at my local Goodwill. Hmm, kind of an ambiguous title. The spine said Yearling Newbery. Hadn't heard of it or the author, Rebecca Stead before. I pulled it out, thinking that it was an honor book. But no, there was that golden seal. Why not? So I put it in my cart.

I thought I was going to get a real-life coming of age story. Twelve-year old girl, her single mom, living in an apartment in the city, the mom's dreams of getting ahead a little bit by winning a tv game show. It seemed to start out that way, but with the strange plot device of the girl, Miranda, writing the book as a letter or story to an as-yet unknown character.

A little bit of a mystery is like a little bit of a fishhook, catching your mind and attention, just a little bit at first. But then the hook begins to set, and the line plays out, and you get a delicious anticipation of how and when it will all be made clear. The clues are there, and you think you might know what's up, but are always aware that the author hasn't given enough away that she can't end it with something you didn't anticipate. In this manner, it reminds me of The Westing Game, another Newbery book. It might remind you of another book too, but I'm not going to give anything away. You will have to read this yourself!

I paid $1.49 for this at Goodwill.

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