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When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead

Family Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Mom calls Richard Mr. Perfect because of how he looks and how he knows everything. And every time she calls him Mr. Perfect, Richard taps his right knee. He does that because his right leg is shorter than his left one. All his right-foot shoes have two-inch platforms nailed to the bottom so that his legs match. In bare feet, he limps a little. (2.6)

Though Miranda's mom is single, Mom and Richard are dating. How would you characterize Mom's relationship to Richard? How does Miranda view him?  Is he a part of the family? Would he make a good addition to the family?

Quote #2

Mom wanted to be a criminal defense lawyer – she started law school and almost finished her first year, but then I was born and she had to quit. Now she's a paralegal, except she works at a really small law office where she has to be the receptionist and the secretary too. Richard is one of the lawyers. They do a lot of free work for poor people, sometimes even for criminals. (3.25)

Miranda's mother dreams of being a lawyer, though she had to drop out of school when she became pregnant with Miranda. What other sacrifices does her mother make?

Quote #3

Upstairs, she threw her coat on a kitchen chair, filled the spaghetti pot with water, and put it on to boil. She was wearing an orange turtleneck and a denim skirt with purple and black striped tights.

"Nice tights," I snorted. Or I tried to snort, anyway. I'm not exactly sure how, though people in books are always doing it.

She leaned against the sink and flipped through the mail. "You already hassled me about the rights this morning, Mira." (3.30-32)

Mom's wardrobe is a sore spot for Miranda. She often hassles her about her crazy tights and bright sweaters. How are Mom's clothes a symbol of the role reversal between the two? Are there things about your parents that you find embarrassing?

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