Thursday, June 3, 2010

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.

-Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1931)

I decided to read this book based solely on Karen's review at Books and Chocolate. She reviewed this book about 8 months ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. I was very impressed with what she said so you'll have to hop on over there to read it too. Since then this book won the Newbery Award which she predicted in her review and after it happened to win - that's when I saw this book for sale at Borders. I couldn't help it, since I usually like Newbery's, so I snatched it up. I went home and read it in just a few days and then I read it to my 11 yr. old daughter each night until we finished.
I agree with Karen that at the beginning it is very different, "puzzling" is the way she put it yet when you are about five chapters in you start realizing just how great this book is. Suddenly, it's like magic and realistically so. Just to illustrate, there were times that my very heartstrings were tugged by this book and what it was unfolding to me which came completely unexpected to me at the end when I didn't think I would feel so moved. But I was and I am.
I loved the way people, places and things were described in this book. It demanded and let you use your imagination to view this book in the way it was written. I love that! It let the characters stand in their own right and this is what was so exciting about it to me - my perceptions about them were not always right. It's what was underneath that counted which really brought to life the intensity of our own human nature. It expresses the sheer value of a human being. It gives new eyes to how the world is viewed through a child's eyes. It is the beauty of the unconditional.
Overall, it's very hard to describe and perhaps that's why I've struggled writing this review. Most of all, I want you to read it, no, even better, to experience it for yourself.

Hardcover, 208 pages
Random House Children's Books
July 14, 2009
My rating: 5 stars


Suko said...

Your enthusiasm is contagious. Sounds like a wonderful book!

Julie said...

Thanks so much, Suko!

L said...

Good grief, added it to my monstrous goodreads list!

Julie said...

Lula - I'm glad you added it! I think you will love it! Let me know what you think either way. :)