By Rebecca Stead
When this first won the Newbery Medal I read it as soon as I could get my hands on it. I was less than hugely impressed. This year Provo City Library in connection with Provo School District decided to pair this with its "companion" book A Wrinkle in Time for the ProvoREADS selection. ProvoREADS choses a different book each year, all citizens of the city are encouraged to read the book during that school year. As part of ProvoREADS I decided to reread the book. Still less than impressed.
The main character, Miranda, tells her own story. Miranda loves the book "A Wrinkle in Time" and has read her copy so often that it is beginning to fall apart. She and some of the other characters refer to this classic a few times, and I guess I can sort of see the tie-in to the plots, but I hardly consider it a "companion" book, in my opinion it barely pays homage.
I did like Miranda as a character and her spunk and interaction with other characters around her. We do get to see her growth and changes throughout the story. One minor character that I found especially memorable was the school secretary "Wheelie"
When You Reach Me is set in the 70's and some of the pop-culture references likely will not really connect with the children of today. There are some clever ideas that are more apparent the second time you read the book. But for my money you'd be better off skipping this and reading Madeleine L'Engle' classic instead.
I have talked to others who enjoyed the book much more than I did. I encourage you to read it yourself and form your own opinion. Please comment and let other know what YOU thought of When You Reach Me.