The Tween Book Club met last week to discuss When You Reach Me. The book follows Miranda, a twelve-year old girl as she begins finding anonymous notes hidden in her belongings asking her to do unusual things. The author of the notes seems to know everything about Miranda - and even something important about her future. Other characters in the book include Miranda's mom, who is practicing relentlessly for her spot on the gameshow The $20,000 Pyramid, her friends Colin and AnneMarie who work at the sandwich shop with Miranda over lunch hours, and the "laughing man" who lives on the corner of Miranda's street and sleeps with his head underneath the mailbox. The story unfolds as Miranda determines to uncover who is sending the mysterious notes and why.
There was some fairly different opinions on this book. Some found it confusing, some found it amusing. There were quite a few "a-ha" moments right at Book Club, which explains the different reactions to the story. Several of the tweens were confused by the "twist" at the end of the story - while others saw what happened right away.
Overall, the members thought the book was an interesting blend between realistic "coming of age" fiction and fantasy. When You Reach Me won the Newberry Medal in 2010. It also made several notable lists including The New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist.
The tweens rated the book: 3.8 [out of 5]
Other review sources:
Good Reads: 4 [out of 5]
Amazon: 4.5 [out of 5]