Erin M, July 28, 2011 (view all comments by Erin M)
This books feels like it was written a couple of decades ago, in a good way. It fits nicely into that YA subgenre of New York latchkey kids navigating interpersonal and family issues, and the time travel aspect is worked in seamlessly - it does nothing to pull you out of the fairly quiet and ordinary goings-on. It's very much written for middle readers (the central mystery, for instance, is not all that mysterious, and the brief discussions of time travel theory are at a pretty basic level), but it never talks down, and the emotions are so clear and natural that I never cared that I basically knew what was going on even when Miranda didn't.
The comparison to A Wrinkle in Time is obvious, of course, but it also bears similarities in tone and warmth to L'Engle's Austin family series (particularly The Young Unicorns, another New York-based mystery) - Miranda's family may not be quite as nuclear as the Austins, but the same down-to-earth, homey vibe is there.
Kirstin Fearnley, January 28, 2011 (view all comments by Kirstin Fearnley)
2009's Newbery winner, this young adult novel is the story of a girl in 1970s New York who receives mysterious, prophetic messages which ask for a letter in return. Miranda, who's already having a rough year with her best friend no longer talking to her, must decide what it all means and what her role ultimately is going to be. This was a spectacularly good book and I'm so glad to have read it.
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time travel;fiction;friendship;mystery;science fiction;newbery;ya;young adult;fantasy;new york city;1970s;new york;novel;newbery medal;children s;family;historical fiction;wrinkle in time;coming of age;game shows;middle school;children;realistic fiction;g
by Kirkus (Starred Review),
"[W]hen all the sidewalk characters from Miranda's Manhattan world converge amid mind-blowing revelations and cunning details, teen readers will circle back to the beginning and say,'Wow ... cool.'"
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"[T]he mental gymnastics required of readers are invigorating; and the characters, children, and adults are honest bits of humanity no matter in what place or time their souls rest."
by School Library Journal (Starred Review),
"This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers."
by The Wall Street Journal,
"Readers...are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward."
by The New York Time Book Review,
"Smart and mesmerizing."
From two-time Newbery honoree and Printz honoree, Gary D. Schmidt, comes a tale of high fantasy, where a peaceful civilization of a faraway planet has been besieged by a dark lord, and in a desperate attempt for survival send their most precious gift across the cosmos, hurtling past a trillion lighted stars . . . all the way into the lunchbox of Tommy Pepper, sixth grader, of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets Chasing Vermeer in this clever middle grade debut
When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfathers painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. Thats great news for Theo, whos struggling to hang onto her familys two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfathers legacy of $463. Theres just one problem: Theos grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.
With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo's search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she'll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.
Uniquely readable, entirely charming, and a pleasure from start to finish. Debuts this good are meant to be discovered.” —SLJ Fuse 8 Blog
Riveting from start to finish.” —BookPage
The Valorim are about to fall to a dark lord when they send a necklace containing their planet across the cosmos, hurtling past a trillion stars . . . all the way into the lunchbox of Tommy Pepper, sixth grader, of Plymouth, Mass. Mourning his late mother, Tommy doesn't notice much about the chain he found, but soon he is drawing the twin suns and humming the music of a hanorah. As Tommy absorbs the art and language of the Valorim, their enemies target him. When a creature begins ransacking Plymouth in search of the chain, Tommy learns he must protect his family from villains far worse than he's ever imagined.
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