When You Reach Me is a coming of age book set in 1978 New York. It is about Miranda, twelve years old, and her best friend, Sal, a boy who lives downstairs from her, and the changes their friendship goes through.
Sal & Miranda are babies when their mothers, both moving into the apartment building on the same day, meet and from then on Sal & Miranda were always together. One day as they walk home from school Sal is punched in the face by a boy named Marcus and runs away. It is after this that Sal stops being friends with Miranda. On her own now, M must start making other friends. She does so slowly and in the process learns things about herself and the people around her that she's not always comfortable with.
As M's Mom prepares to appear on $25,000 Pyramid Game, a TV show hosted by Dick Clark, she begins receiving mysterious notes from someone whom it seems can predict the future.
I've long been a fan of time travel mystery as a plot device and found this book's use of it very entertaining and was even taken by surprise as to whom it turned out to be in the end. I also greatly identified with Miranda's struggle to branch out on her own and make room for more than one special friend in her life. I went through something similar in 3rd grade.
I give this book a solid B+.