Am I the only one who thinks the best way to encounter a new author is to binge-read more than one book from their roster? I was interested in Rebecca Stead initially from the Newberry list, so I started with “When You Reach Me .”
Review (When You Reach Me ): The book starts off pretty slow. Pretty real slow. All the clues and signs are there building toward a grand climactic realization- and it’s a g00d one- but the story very nearly lost me along the way. This is admittedly an adult perspective. I only have so much patience for 6th grade insecurities.
3.5/5 stars and expect to talk to your 4-6th grader about crushes, socio-economic differences, and time travel. A great companion read would be Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.
I probably wouldn’t have gone looking for “Goodbye Stranger,” but I’m so glad it was within reach. This young adult book is modern, but restrained.
Review (Goodbye Stranger): The true heart of the book is friendship- what it’s worth and how to keep it. The set of Bridge, Emily, and Tabitha is established early on and manages to survive the strains of 7th grade and flourish in the tough and tricky times. The love interests are there, but they are thoughtfully portrayed, and the slippery slope of cell phone photos was helpful to me as a parent.
I would hand “Goodbye Stranger” to a kid 7th grade and up and hope to talk about the following: cell phones, social justice, and friendship. 4/5 stars.
** I don’t get paid to write reviews, but if you purchase the books via these Amazon links it will contribute a few pennies to fund my book habit.