This past week I've been without a computer because, among other things, my motherboard died. What this meant was no school since all of our lesson plans and a good portion of our curricula is on the computer. Not the greatest way to start off the school year, as we've barely begun and we're already behind! School will resume this afternoon, though many of my careful plans for the month will need to be adjusted.

One thing I've added to the schedule is a new read aloud, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. There's been SO much hype about this book that I was hesitant to even purchase it, thinking it couldn't possibly be that good. However, since I was without a computer, I breezed through the book on Saturday morning and knew immediately that it would be our first full-length read aloud of the year. It really is wonderful (so much so that I can't wait to re-read it!), and vaguely reminded me of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, one of my favorite books as a child. I know the kids will love it.

From the publisher:

"Four mysterious letters change Miranda’s world forever.

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late."


I'm not even going to attempt a proper review here, because so many other reviews have already been written (and it's not an easy book to review without including spoilers!) . Here are just a few of those:
A perfect read aloud for 4th-6th graders, if you purchase this book, I guarantee you won't be disappointed!


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