When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

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Nathaphone Luangoudom
Professor Giso
Critical Analysis
November 27, 2011

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

GENRE
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is science fiction because the theme of the story is time travel. Time travel is a scientific principle that is new which contradict known laws of nature, for example Marcus abilities to travel in time as a homeless man to save Sal make this story science fiction. The book is also considered a mystery novel because Miranda receives a strange note asking her to record future events and write down the location of her spare key. As the novel progresses, she is the detective in finding out who the notes are written from. The book was published by Wendy Lamb books in 2009. CHARACTERS

Miranda who is a sixth grade student living in New York City. She lives with her single mother and has had the same best friend ever since she was young. Soon after her best friend gets punch for no reason, Miranda discovers that her best friend no longer wants to be her friend and is sad by it. This persuades Miranda to make friends with girls at her school. Suddenly, she begins to get strange notes from a mysterious person. Miranda shrugs these notes aside and ignores them until things starts to occur that cause her to take a closer look at the notes. Miranda soon comes to realize that the person writing the notes is a time traveler which is inspired by a book that she only reads called A Wrinkle in Time. Miranda then follows the instructions in the notes. Richard is a simple character in the story. He is the boyfriend of Miranda’s mother. He is a lawyer with a law firm that Miranda’s mother is working at. He loves Miranda’s mother and wants to marry her but he knows she has a fear of commitment. Julia is a daughter of a wealthy family. Julia is self-centered which makes her a target of jealousy. Her parents are so self-absorb that they neglect Julia at times which leaves her to do things on her own. Julia is very smart and travels a lot so she understands time travel. She has the same interest in time travel like Miranda. However, Miranda dislikes her at first but soon learns that Julia is the way she is because she is black. Marcus is a boy who goes to school with Miranda. He is the person that punches Miranda’s best friend Sal. He tells Miranda of time traveling and he is revealed at the end of the story to be the homeless man and the person who wrote the mysterious note. He travels in time as the homeless man to save her best friend Sal from being hit by a truck. Miranda’s Mother is also a round character in the story. She is unhappy with her career and is a single mom. She gave up being a lawyer because she gave birth to Miranda. Good luck comes her way when she is given a chance to appear on a 20,000 pyramid game show. She practice hard for it and ends up winning. She is also afraid of committing to her boyfriend Richard and does not trust him at first with the house key. Eventually when she wins the money, she is given a second chance to go to law school and finally decides to marry Richard. Annemarie is Miranda’s friend in her class. When Sal and Miranda’s broke up, she is the first person that Miranda becomes friends with. Annemarie also at the time broke up her friendship with Julia. Annemarie is epileptic so she has to watch her diet. She has a strict father who always makes sure she eats right. She is a kind character in the story that inspires Miranda to be kind to others. Sal is Miranda’s best friend since childhood. He gets punch in the face then decided to withdraw himself from Miranda hoping to find other friends (male friends). Miranda is heartbroken by their splits and worries about her friendship to Sal all throughout the story. Homeless man is the man sleeping under Miranda’s mailbox. This man is insane to Miranda because he would randomly yell out stuff. Miranda nick named him laughing man and quack. Colin is a boy in Miranda class. He helps Miranda and Annemarie...
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