Rebecca Stead Books

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead Four mysterious notes change
Miranda’s world forever.

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 new kid 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 Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

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.

  • Winner of the John Newbery Medal and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction
  • A New York Times Book Review Notable Book for Children
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • “[W]hen all the sidewalk characters from Miranda’s Manhattan world converge amid mind-blowing revelations and cunning details, teen readers will circle back to the beginning and say, ‘’”
    Starred Review, Kirkus, June 1, 2009

    “[T]he mental gymnastics required of readers are invigorating; and the characters, children and adults, are honest bits of humanity no matter in what place or time their souls rest.”
    Starred Review, Booklist, June 1, 2009

    “Closing revelations are startling and satisfying but quietly made, their reverberations giving plenty of impetus for the reader to go back to the beginning and catch what was missed.”
    Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, July/August 2009

    “This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers.”
    Starred Review, School Library Journal

    "It’s easy to imagine readers studying Miranda’s story as many times as she’s read L’Engle’s, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises."
    Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

    People Magazine

    "Readers ... are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward."
    The Wall Street Journal

    The Washington Post

    "Smart and mesmerizing."
    The New York Times Book Review