When You Reach Me (Yearling Newbery)
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This remarkable novel holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart.
By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.
But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.
ground at exactly the same moment, every time. Then all the boys turn at the same second and go back into their identical houses. Except for this one boy. He’s outside all alone, and his ball rolls into the street, and then his mother comes out looking all nervous and carries him into the house. I was thinking about how much Mr. Tompkin would hate the idea of a place where all the houses look exactly the same when something stung me hard behind the ear. I jerked my head up and saw Julia laughing
money!” “Forget it,” she said. “I want to be alone.” And she stomped off toward school. Colin raised his eyebrows after her and then showed me a rolled-up dollar. “Want to get a slice?” So we went to the pizza place. But it wasn’t fun. And walking back to school, it occurred to me that Colin might not like me at all. He might just like pizza. “Tell me something,” I said just before we got to our classroom. “That day the bread count was short by two rolls. Did you take them?” “Yeah,” Colin
think about nothing for a change. The Second Proof Mom didn’t have to work on Christmas Eve day. We got a tree and strung popcorn for it, and she had some friends from work over. Richard made some eggnog from a German recipe his grandmother gave him, and they all ended up singing a lot while I wrapped presents in my room. I had bought Mom a pair of earrings, a bottle of purple nail polish with glitter in it, and some striped tights, even though I thought, and I still think, that striped
the street to avoid that fight. Marcus’s brother was the kid who had been trying to get off the hood of the car. Who kept getting knocked down. “I think I saw that,” I said. “Was your brother wearing a hat?” Marcus nodded. “Yeah. He always wears that hat.” “What did you do?” “Nothing. I was leaning in our doorway, watching. Afterward, Anthony said to me, ‘Did you even think about standing up? About helping me?’ He said I was like no brother at all.” “Those kids are bigger than you,” I said.
Vietnam. So a lot of young men who didn’t want to fight became teachers.” Instead of what they really wanted to be, she meant. Jay Stringer, who is a twelve-year-old genius and the head of the Main Street Planning Board, had already built an entire cardboard building, complete with fire escapes and a water tower, and he’d just started two phone booths that he said would have tiny doors that folded open and closed. Annemarie was busy with her pebbles and her extra-strength glue, working on a