Sarah's Stars

Rebecca Stead.  When You Reach Me 
Wendy Lamb $17.99  ISBN 978-0-385-73742-5  208 pg.
Reviewed by Anastasia, Age 11

My brain boomed inside my head: Sal is going to die. Sal is going to die. Sal is going to die. Suddenly, the laughing man was in the street, his right leg went flying out in a mighty kick. The laughing man's foot hit Sal's body. Sal flew backward and hit the ground, hard. The truck hit the laughing man. Marcus sat down on the ground and started crying like there was no tomorrow. Really sobbing his head off.

The main character is 12-year-old Miranda who was named after a kidnapper. Miranda and Richard help her mom practice for the $20,000 TV Pyramid game that her mom is trying to win. In the game your partner has to say things to describe a word and HER partner has to try to guess the word. Anyway, soon after they start practicing, Miranda finds a note that says, "M, this is hard. Harder than I expected, even with your help. But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well. I am coming to save your friendís life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. Second, please remember to mention the location of your house key. The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."

Now this is not the only note Miranda gets, in fact, she keeps getting more notes and does not know whom they are from. Miranda is getting scared and wonders which friend it is? Will the person be able to save her friendís life?

I liked this book because it was a real mystery. One example is when the letter said that this trip is a difficult one. You might think it was by train or a plane or something, but Iíll let you find out. I also like how the author made it so the mother was in the $20,000 Pyramid game, because it made the book longer and you had to read to learn what she was supposed to do. I also liked the title When You Reach Me, because it sounds like somebody's going to say that when you reach me we will do such and such; like the personís explaining what they'll do when they get together. Thirdly I like how the cover shows a picture of Jimmyís, the school, the mailbox with the laughing man, the key, the shoe; it's like showing everything important in the book. Lastly I like how at the end Miranda wrote the letter and filled in all the answers to the readerís questions. I think this book is suitable for ages 10-14.

I give When You Reach Me a 4 and one-half star rating.   

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