When You Reach Me

Mystery by Rebecca Stead


When You Reach Me is a Newbery Medal-winning science fiction and mystery novel by Rebecca Stead, published in 2009. It takes place in the Upper West Side in New York during 1978 and 1979 and follows the protagonist, Miranda Sinclair. She receives a strange note asking her to record future events and write down the location of her spare key. As the novel progresses, Miranda receives three more notes with requests. The novel contains three storylines — the appearance of Miranda's mom on The $20,000 Pyramid, Miranda's best friend Sal suddenly not talking with Miranda, and the appearance of a laughing man. Central themes in the novel include independence, redemption and friendship. Stead also wanted to demonstrate the possibilities that she saw in time travel. The author hoped to show her children what New York was like in her childhood, and demonstrate how in an earlier time children were more independent.
When You Reach Me was inspired by a newspaper article about a man suffering from amnesia, and by parts of her childhood and her favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time. After completing much of the novel, Stead gave the draft to her editor, Wendy Lamb, who liked it.

First Published


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