The Next Newbery?

by UndergroundLibrarian@evpl on Monday, October 5 2009, 2:30pm. Viewed 992 times.

when you reach meI've just read a review of When You Reach Me from our EVPL Newsletters.  The reviewer fully expects this book to win the next Newbery Award and/or be high on all the best children's books of the year lists.  (Click here to read that review.)  Rebecca Stead has written a book that begins with 12-year-old Miranda in the 1979-1980 school year. 

It seems to be in the realistic fiction category, albeit with some wacky people, perhaps the wackiest being the homeless man who sleeps on the sidewalk with his head under the mailbox.  And Miranda does receive some notes that are scary and unnerving because 1) they are unsigned and 2) they make predictions that all come true.  But by the time I finished reading this book, I decided that it belongs in a different category.

I'd love to read other people's opinions.  What do you think?  Do you think, in the reviewer's words, "it's that good"?


Comments (5)

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kiya@evpl wrote
on Monday, October 5 2009, 3:25pm

I loved it.  I thought about writing about it for the blog, but couldn't figure out what to say.  I loved the characters, and how real they seemed to me.  I kept wanting Miranda to talk to her mom. I loved the references to A Wrinkle in Time, because it is one of my favorite books, too. I enjoyed the surprise ending, and how all the clues come together for Miranda at the perfect time and place. I gave it to people I work with, and told them how much I like it. I looked up the other book we have by Rebecca Stead, First Light, and loved that one, too. I have no idea whether it will win prizes, but I can’t wait for Fall Break to get here so I can give it to my kids to read without interrupting their homework.

on Wednesday, October 7 2009, 3:23pm

I had a really hard time writing this blog entry because I couldn't figure out what to say, either.  Finally I decided to just go ahead and enter what I had written.  It's hard to write a review about this book without giving away the ending.  I'm glad to know you loved it, too.

on Saturday, December 5 2009, 2:26pm

At our house, we give a lot of books as gifts - that may be a librarian thing, or maybe just because

on Monday, January 11 2010, 5:46pm

I just finished reading this just this afternoon. I wasn't sure what to think when I first started reading it. Sometimes I expect too much from books that have been highly recommended... especially books recommended by more than one person. It got better, though, and then it got a whole lot better. In the end, I loved it! I also decided I need to read A Wrinkle in Time again.

kiya@evpl wrote
on Wednesday, January 27 2010, 10:45am

You called it!  This book won the Newbery Award last week at the American Library Association Annual Meeting.

I heard it again this past weekend when I finally brought it on a road trip with my 14 and 18 year olds, both of whom enjoyed it as well.