Who am I? What's my place in the world? These are questions that everyone struggles with, but no one more than so than the protagonist of a novel for tweens and teens. In When You Reach Me, our protagonist is trying to figure out who she is – and who she will become. Will Miranda define herself through the books that she reads, through the people that she hangs out with, or through the role model that her mother is? Over the course of the novel we'll watch Miranda grapple with what it means to be, well, just Miranda.
When You Reach Me shows us that you can decide your own identity. This is exactly what Miranda does in Chapter 41.
The biggest lesson Miranda learns is that "you can't judge a book by its cover." This is especially important when it comes to Julia, Marcus, and the Laughing Man.
Though Miranda spends the book thinking she's looking for the identity of the person who sent her the anonymous letters, she's actually looking for her own identity. At the end of the book, she discovers that it was the Laughing Man/Marcus who sent the letters, but she also learns a lot more about herself in the process.