Miranda is your average sixth-grader latch key kid. She is independent, mature, street smart, likes to read sci-fi, and has a best friend Sal; who one day stops being that. Sal’s unexplained absence from her life leaves her feeling sad and confused, but she accepts it and soon becomes friends with Colin and Annemarie. But then strange mysterious Notes start to appear.
” I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I ask two favors. First you must write me a letter …”
I would say 75% of this book is about the friendship between Miranda and her friends and Miranda’s relationship to her mother. Miranda is growing up and becoming more aware of the world around her and the different social statuses of people, from the laughing man who sleeps under the corner mailbox to her friend, Annemarie, who lives in a building that has a doorman. Miranda also learns that small acts of kindness or meanness can have significant consequences.
The other 25% of the book is sci-fi and is what drives the momentum of the book and the reader constantly guessing. Who is coming? Who’s life needs to be saved? Will the person get here in time? The author does an amazing job in dropping hints about the storyline, that keeps the reader searching for clues to the puzzle. For this reason it took me a longer time to read this middle-grade novel as I was reading every word, and constantly reviewing all the information. It is the type of story where once you figure out the puzzle, you immediately want to read it again!
Winner of the 2010 Newberry Award for most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Author: Rebecca Stead
Recommendation: Add to Home Library