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When You Reach Me

2012 summer project - 7th grade
by

Reagan Robinson

on 8 September 2012

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Transcript of When You Reach Me

Book by: Rebecca Stead Main Characters Miranda, Sal, Marcus, Laughing Man, Annemarie, Colin, Miranda’s mom Not-So-Main Characters Richard, Julia, Belle Characteristics- When You Reach Me Miranda- smart, mixed-emotions, lost
Sal- angry, confused, quiet
Marcus- poor, book smart, naïve
Laughing Man- old, poor, crazy
Annemarie- caring, wealthy, safe
Colin- comedian, adventurous, dangerous
Miranda’s mom- good mom, daring, determined

Richard- mom’s boyfriend, humble, “perfect”
Julia- fake, rich, caring underneath
Belle- good listener, babysitter, responsible Setting The setting in When You Reach Me is in a few different locations. The whole book is in the city of New York. To be more specific, the setting is at Miranda’s school, Miranda’s apartment, and the streets of New York City. At Miranda’s school, Marcus is accused of throwing kids into the street, because Marcus is poor and he lives on the streets. Then, Miranda calls her mom, who is a lawyer so she can help Miranda figure out the situation. Also, at school she meets her two new best friends, Annemarie and Colin. At Miranda’s apartment, she has her first sleepover with Annemarie. As a side fact, Miranda explains to the audience about the sleepovers she had with Sal were never successful. She would wake up in the morning and see Sal’s cot empty every time. Her mom would tell her that he had a headache, or stomach ache, or a bad dream; then she would start crying. Lastly, Miranda and her mom’s boyfriend, Richard, helped her study for $20,000 pyramid. The most important setting is on the streets of New York City. Here, Sal gets punched by Marcus, the laughing man sacrifices himself for Sal, the laughing man runs across the sidewalk, and Miranda has her “tada” moment after the laughing man dies. This setting has the most elements in the book that are key to remember so that you are not confused at the end of the book. Theme The book When You Reach Me has a lot of themes: time travel, mystery, puzzles, and maturing. Time travel because the Laughing Man and Marcus is the same person, except the timing of the book is in Marcus’ time, but the Laughing Man (or Marcus when he is old) travels back to his childhood. Next, Marcus and Miranda talk about time travel and how it is possible, just somebody needs to figure out how to. Time travel is big in the book together, and without it, someone who read the book would be lost.
Also, I think this book’s theme is mystery. I picked this because when Sal starts to ignore Miranda, she gets confused because they were great friends one day and practically strangers the next. To support the theme mystery, Miranda’s letters that she receives are from someone mysterious. Another theme that goes with the book is puzzles. I think this theme fits this book because all of the letters that Miranda gets are pieces of a puzzle to figure out. The whole novel is based on things that if you put together, it becomes easier to understand.
The last theme that I think explains When You Reach Me is maturing. Throughout the book, Miranda really grows up and starts figuring out who she is. Also, I think meeting new friends and being open is a sign of growing up. She is the narrator of the book, and through the book, the tone went from kind of childish to old, or more responsible. Every one of these themes describes the book in different ways, but they are all very important. Tone The author’s tone in the novel is different throughout the book. In the beginning, Rebecca Stead used a mysterious tone. I know this because Miranda explains how Sal mysteriously stopped hanging out with her, and she got letters from an anonymous person. Miranda is confused when she gets the letter because it is telling her to do things, and she doesn’t know if she should do it or not.
Also, the tone is ironic. Marcus figures out that he is the Laughing Man and he has to figure out how to time travel and go back in time to save Sal. That is ironic because the whole concept of time travel is hard to grasp because it is very unnatural. Another reason is when Miranda gets the letters at first, she has no idea what they mean, but in the end they fit together, even though they all were different.
The last tone that I thought fit the book was confusion. Miranda and Sal were confused when Marcus hit Sal, and Miranda was confused why. Sal ran away from her and stopped talking to her. Marcus was confused about how he got accused for pushing people in the streets. There is a lot of confusion in this book so mostly, the tone was confusion. Author's Purpose The author’s purpose for the book When You Reach Me is to show the importance of friendship. The reason why I say this is because when Miranda and Sal separated, Miranda was sad about it, but she
never stopped being his friend. She was confused about the fact but she never said one bad thing about him. Also, at the end of the book, when they start talking to each other again, she discovered that Sal never stopped either, he just needed to explore and get more friends because the only friend he had at one point in time was Miranda, so he needed to meet more people. Summary In the book When You Reach Me, the main character is Miranda, and she lives in an apartment with in New York City with her mom. Her best friend, Sal, stops talking to her after a young boy on the street punches him in the face. Later she finds out that, the boy who punched Sal is named Marcus, and he only punched Sal to show his brother that he could stand up for himself.
A few days after that, Miranda gets her first letter from a mysterious person, telling her to write a note about a story, in order to save her and her friend’s life. At first, he tried to ignore this, and then she started getting more. While this was happening, she met new friends by the names Annemarie and Colin, and she becomes more aware of the homeless man on the streets, who runs in the middle of the street randomly. One day after school, Marcus tries to apologize to Sal, but Sal runs away, ironically into the street. A scary moment later, a semi comes down the road, right to Sal. The laughing man (homeless man on the street) suddenly runs and pushes Sal out of the street to save him, but gets run over by the truck. Miranda figures out that the laughing man was the person who wrote the letters, and Marcus time-traveling from the future. (Marcus and the laughing man are the same person.) Miranda ends up writing the letter and giving it to Marcus. Figurative Language Page 13- “Just as I put the glass in her hand, the doorbell rings for about a minute straight.” Page 67- “I ask you not to share the others. Please.
I do not ask this for myself.” Page 79- “Alice Evans was squirming in her chair like
she was doing a hula dance.”

Page 37- “Annemarie’s rug was spongy and soft, almost like another bed.” Page 37- “Annemarie’s rug was spongy and soft,
almost like another bed.” The big conflict in the novel is when Sal started ignoring Miranda after Marcus punched Sal. Later, Miranda figures out that that Sal stopped wanting to hang out with her before because Miranda was “all that Sal had,” so he needed to explore the world more and make new friends. This made Miranda realize that she also needed new friends. Throughout the book, just because Sal quit hanging out with her, she matured and became less guarded. Conflict Resolution ^ ^ The resolution for the book When You Reach Me is when Miranda and Sal talked it out after the laughing man sacrificed himself. Then, Sal explained how he needed new friends because if Miranda isn’t at school, he doesn’t have any alternative friends. Also, Miranda told Sal the truth about Marcus and how he is the Laughing Man in the letter. Sal and Miranda start hanging out again at the end of the book. * Reccomendation * * * The resolution for the book When You Reach Me is when Miranda and Sal talked it out after the laughing man sacrificed himself. Then, Sal explained how he needed new friends because if Miranda isn’t at school, he doesn’t have any alternative friends. Also, Miranda told Sal the truth about Marcus and how he is the Laughing Man in the letter. Sal and Miranda start hanging out again at the end of the book. -Miranda's mom was invited to $20,000 Pyramid -Miranda gets the first letter -Sal got punched by Marcus -Sal stops talking to Miranda -Miranda talks to Marcus about punching Sal -Sal runs away from Marcus when he tries to apologize -The Laughing Man gets run over by a semi-truck to save Sal -Marcus realizes that he is the Laughing Man -Marcus got accused of pushing passerby's into the street -Miranda explains the whole situation to Sal -Miranda gives the letter to Marcus -Sal and Miranda become friends again -Miranda's mom wins $20,000 Pyramid EXPOSITION RESOLUTION RISING ACTIONS FALLING ACTIONS CLIMAX ~Plot Diagram~ . . . . Presented and Made by: Reagan E. Robinson Setting - - 4
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