Rebecca Stead grew up and still lives in NYC. She has written four books geared toward children. I just finished the second, When You Reach Me. The setting is upper Manhattan near Amsterdam Avenue, 1978. The narrative is from the point of view of a 12-year-old girl. It consists largely of snippets of her life. The voice is authentic, which is the novel's greatest strength. The kid is eminently likable, as are her friends, and even her rivals. There's more to the story. Her mom is prepping for an appearance on the $20,000 Pyramid, and a loner schoolmate believes he can travel through time. In the Acknowledgments, the author cites Madeleine L'Engle a a big influence. The main character frequently references L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. I guess I've seen too much of this theme lately. I struggled to stay interested in that aspect. Otherwise, the pace is swift, the chapters short, the 197 pages reading like considerably less. 773 readers at Amazon have rated When You Reach Me, forging to an impressive consensus of 4.6 of five. That's much higher than I would go. I wonder how many of those who took the time to express their thoughts are children. Published in 2008, it was a NY Times best seller and winner of two awards. At last check, the paperback version was ranked #2864 overall at Amazon, where there are at least 13 million books listed. That's impressive, especially given that the work has been in circulation eight years. Well done, madam.
The floating book shop had only one customer today in Park Slope, but he was a good one. My thanks to the gentleman who bought six works of non-fiction, mostly in the self-help category.
Vic's Short Works: http://tinyurl.com/jy55pzc
Vic's 5th Novel: http://tinyurl.com/okxkwh5
Vic's 4th novel: http://tinyurl.com/bszwlxh
Vic's 3rd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
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Vic's Short Story Collection: http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic's 2nd Novel: http://tiny.cc/0iHLb
Vic's 1st Novel: http://tinyurl.com/l84h63j
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