'When You Reach Me' by Rebecca Stead - Book Club Discussion Questions

'When You Reach Me' - Reading Group Guide

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Random House Children's Books
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is a young adult novel that will delight adults and youth alike. Use these book club discussion questions on When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead to lead your book club or reading group into Stead's book.

Spoiler Warning: These book club discussion questions reveal important details about When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Finish the book before reading on.

  1. How did the 20,000 Pyramid play a role in the story? How did her mother's quest with the game show mirror Miranda's quest to make sense of her life?
  1. Did you have trouble understanding the concept of time travel allowing something to happen before the person actually traveled back in time? Or did Malcolm and Julia's explanations make sense to you?
  2. Malcolm tells Miranda, "Einstein says common sense is just a habit of thought. It's how we're used to thinking about things, but a lot of time it just gets in the way of what's true" (51). Do you think that's true? Have you ever had to let go of assumptions in order to see the truth? Have you ever known anyone who was very smart but did not seem to have any common sense? Would you rather have a lot of common sense or the ability to see a few profound truths that other people miss?
  3. At what point did you realize the laughing man was Malcolm?
  4. Were you satisfied with the way all the mysteries came together in the end?
  5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle has a big impact on Miranda, but also on Rebecca Stead and the idea for this book. Did reading When You Reach Me make you want to read A Wrinkle in Time again?
  1. Is there any book that took hold of you the way A Wrinkle in Time took hold of Miranda -- that you read and reread either as a child or an adult?
  2. How does Miranda change in this book? In what ways do her relationships with her mother and friends mature?
  3. Rate When You Reach Me on a scale of 1 to 5.