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When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me Chapter 1 Summary

Things You Keep in a Box

  • A postcard came today for our narrator's mother. It's from a game show called the $20,000 Dollar Pyramid. (It's a real game show, by the way. Watch a bit of it here.)
  • The postcard reads: "Congratulations"(1.1).
  • Mom is going to be on the game show. There's also a date: "April 27, 1979"(1.3).
  • The date is printed on the card, the narrator tells us, "Just like you said" (1.3).
  • Advanced Shmoopers are probably asking themselves who this "you" is that our narrator is talking about. We're not really sure at this point. The "you" is unnamed. We're guessing that this is one of the novel's mysteries.
  • The narrator goes to a box underneath the bed where he/she keeps all the notes that the "you" has sent to her. The postcard, we learn, was the last "proof" (1.4). Proof of what, you ask? That sounds like another mystery to us.
  • The narrator thinks about the letter that this "you" has asked him/her to write.
  • The narrator works on the letter in his or her head sometimes. We get the feeling, though, that thinking about whatever it is that's supposed to go in the letter isn't the most pleasant task: "It's all still there, like a movie I can watch when I want to. Which is never" (1.5).
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