Book Club: When You Reach Me

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Tonight is my first Girl Zone Book Club for the year! This is a group I run for Year Six students and a significant woman in their life – mother, aunt, grandma, older sister, cousin, family friend…even a dad or uncle will do. This Book Club is an opportunity to talk, laugh and learn through a shared love of reading.

This book club runs much like an adult book club and focus books chosen are ‘crossover’ novels, ones which both adults and adolescents can enjoy. The book club is for students who adore reading and for those who do not and perhaps need a little nudge in the right direction. This is not an extra class for students, this is for the pure joy of recreational reading and to encourage reading as a social activity.

Book Clubs help us to…

Connect with others through a shared love of literature

Discuss the big ideas and messages in literature

Personally connect with a story or character

For our first read, we will be focusing on ‘When You Reach Me’, which I did with another of my book clubs about 6 years ago now when it was a brand spanking new title. It has gone on to win a slew of awards and deservedly so. Why am I going back to it many years on? Because it pays homage to an absolute classic of children’s literature, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’*, which is just about to come out at the movies in Australia. Of course, all my book club girls will be reading the book first…won’t you girls?

Click on cover image or title link to purchase

The keen readers in book club will hopefully be able to read ‘When You Reach Me’ and ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ before we next meet, in week 9 of term. Happy reading girls!

To purchase this book for your home, school or library collection click here.

When You Reach Me

Author: Rebecca Stead

Publisher: Random House

Age Range: Upper Primary – Adult

Awards: 2010 Newbery Medal Winner; Boston Globe-Hornbook Award for Fiction; 2009 Indies Choice Award; ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book; CCBC Choices Book; Horn Book Magazine Book of the Year; School Library Journal Book of the Year; New York Times Notable Book.

Themes: the complexities of friendships, self-identity, teenage years, bullying, fears, social structures, New York,  redemption, time, family, school.

Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighbourhood. 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 as happens in life, things change. We grow up: grow away from childhood friends; make new ones and find out that life is far more complicated than we could ever have imagined.

For Miranda, life starts taking some very unexpected twists and turns. That is really ALL I can say without ruining this tale!

Confusing and perplexing…but also timeless, engaging and totally convincing. This book refuses to fit neatly into one genre and will challenge young readers to see the complexity and wonder of books for older readers. 

To view all titles by Rebecca Stead see here. 

To browse all book club titles and look for more inspiration for your 11+ reader, see here. 

* ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ was written by Madeline L’Engle’s* and first published in 1962. It went on to win the most prestigious youth literature prize, the Newbery Award, which ‘When you Reach Me’ also won many years later in 2010!

Random House has published a film tie-in edition of Madeline L’Engle’s bestselling novel and this special edition is packed with extra content, including a Q&A with Madeline L’Engle and an afterword by the author’s granddaughter. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ bridges science and fantasy, darkness and light, fear and friendship and has been a classic of children’s literature over the last 50 years, selling more than 10 million copies worldwide and continuing to inspire millions of fans around the world.

The film, released by Disney, will hit cinemas in Australia on 22nd March 2018.

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