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When You Reach Me (book)

I'm an old fart, but still a kid inside, and I still like books aimed at kids. My favorite is When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead. It's about a 6th-grade girl whose best friend suddenly wants nothing to do with her, and it's about her first job at a sandwich shop, and about a weird homeless man she befriends, and her mom's chance to be a contestant on The $20,000 Pyramid with Dick Clark.

Are you intrigued yet? Probably not, so just take my word for it. There are a dozen different threads in the story, and it's complicated but the author knits everything together perfectly. It's funny and thoughtful, with thrilling bits, funny bits, and sad bits, but no boring bits. There are three different scenes where I cry a little, every time I re-read this book — which is six or seven times, so far.

What happens is, I read several other books, and then I notice this one on my shelf and take it down and re-read it again. Seems to happen every few months. Obviously, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy this book.

I like good reading but I love good writing, and this is both. It's hard to describe what makes When You Reach Me so involving without giving away too much of the story, so I'm going to shut up now. I'll just say, it's terrific, and if you read it you won't regret it.

 

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