This novel, set in New York sometime in the 1960s or ’70s, is on the “best books” list of a lot of teen reader and teacher web sites. Frankly, I’m not completely sure why. I hope that my students, particularly those who have read and appreciated Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, pick this one up, and then share their thoughts with me about the relationship themes–which I “get”–and the time-travelling ideas that left me scratching my head. The story is told by a mature sixth grader named Miranda, and written as if she’s talking to the person who has sent her notes about the futurehelping her mother prepare to be a game show contestant. The two live in a run-down apartment in New York City in the same building where Miranda’s former best friend, a guy named Sal, also lives with his mother. Strangely, Sal now seems to want nothing to do with her, leaving Miranda essential friendless and faced with the challenge of walking to school alone each day past the crazy man on the corner. Eventually she makes friends with Annmarie and Colin, a boy she likes. Through a very strange series of events, Miranda also strikes up an odd relationship with an unusual kid named Marcus, a boy who’s as much a fan of A Wrinkle in Time as Miranda. The difference between them: to Marcus, time travel may be real. Look for this in the Classroom Library.
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