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When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me


by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me Theme of 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 sending Miranda the strange notes, or the way time travel works. All of the characters in the book are searching for various kinds of Truths. As we learn, though, Truth is one of those concepts that can be hard to grasp. We will often see characters in When You Reach Me searching after insight, following clues, lifting veils, and untying knots in search of the hard-to-grasp Truth.

Questions About Truth

  1. What does Miranda's mom mean when she talks about lifting the "veil" in Chapter 21?
  2. How can Marcus and the Laughing Man be the same person?
  3. What does Marcus say about common sense? Do you agree with him?
  4. Who is the magic thread? Do you think most events in life are connected by a "magical thread"?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In When You Reach Me, learning the truth is a healing experience. For example, when Miranda learns the truth about why Sal has stopped spending time with her, she can begin to heal their friendship.

In the novel, untying knots is a symbol of puzzling out the truth.

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