When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead, 2009
“It’s the jumping, from one diamond to the next, that we call time, but like I said, time doesn’t really exist. All the diamonds on the ring are happening at the same time….All the diamonds exist at once.”
Philosophers of every culture have examined the question of Time. What is it? Is it real? Here’s a children’s book that attempts to bring these questions to a child’s mind, simply to evoke profound inquiry, and, have some fun. Building on some of the elements of the classic children’s book, A Wrinkle in Time, this very contemporary mystery unfolds in a complex weaving of different times and places.
Everything in the beginning of this children’s book turned me off – pop culture, quiz shows, New York City…But I stayed with it, and discovered an amazing, thought-provoking story centered around the idea of time-travel, and questioning what time itself really means.
I think this children’s book will work well for very thoughtful young readers. It is not a superficial story, so the reader must engage their mind to stay with the ideas that are constantly being provided, while trying, along with the heroine, to solve a very puzzling series of notes she is receiving.
In the end, this children’s book has wisdom, and evokes very sincere compassion. It is a profound story that transcends itself. Probably best for 11 and up, but an inquiring 10-year-old might make sense of it.