When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
If you were to make a list of all the keys in this novel, we bet it'd end up being a mighty long list. Talk about imagery overload. Miranda is a latchkey kid, so she's always carrying around a key (2.2), and so is Marcus (10.8). Then there's the house key that gets stolen (16.1-23) and the copy of the key that Miranda's Mom doesn't want to give her boyfriend Richard (34.29), but that Miranda gives to Richard for his birthday (52.19). This isn't even half of the examples on our list. Trust us – the keys? They're there.
Why keys – and why so many of them? Well, keys unlock something, right? They open a door. They give access – and they give answers. With all of the questions being posed in this novel, then, it's not wonder that there are so many keys.