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When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Friendship

As Shakespeare once wrote, the course of true friendship never did run smooth. (OK, that's not really what Shakespeare said, but we're taking artistic license). When You Reach Me focuses on the cou...

Truth

We might say that the Truth (note the caps) is an answer, and that this is a book that wants answers – whether it's the answer to a clue on $20,000 Pyramid, the identity of the person who is send...

Time

Plenty of TV shows, movies, and novels try to tackle the tricky topic of time travel – what it is and how it works. Like other stories before it, When You Reach Me asks us to wrap our brains arou...

Literature and Writing

Our protagonist Miranda loves books – well, not books so much as one book: Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Miranda always carries around a copy of the book and is constantly comparing the p...

Society and Class

America has long been described as the great melting pot, and the same goes for late 1970s New York City. In When You Reach Me, we get an idea of the complex communities of people who live in the c...

Family

When You Reach Me tells the story of a small, modern family. Miranda's mom is a working single mother, never married, and Miranda is her independent latchkey daughter. The relationship between Mira...

Identity

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 pro...

Forgiveness and Compassion

Most coming-of-age novels have heart, but When You Reach Me, we would argue, has a bigger heart than most. (Did you cry at the end? Seriously, we won't tell anyone. Yeah, OK, we cried too.) Part of...
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