Adventure Contest Winner: Raina James

Raina James

Grade 5
John Adams Elementary School, North Brunswick, NJ

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

In the book, When You Reach me, the main character Miranda had a daily ritual. She always went to school and came home with her best friend Sal. Sal and Miranda did everything together and Miranda didn’t care much for others. ONLY SAL. So, when a boy punched Sal on the way home from school and Sal started to block Miranda out of his life, Miranda was confused. She felt as if part of herself was missing.

Sal ignoring Miranda forced her to open up and socialize. She started to make some new friends, which exposed her to things that she never believed in before. Even things such as time travel were now a possibility. Miranda realized that life isn’t always about common sense, since “Common sense is just a name for the way we are used to thinking.” She started noticing the good in others that she never did before. Once Miranda did that, she was able to understand that it was necessary for Sal to have some distance in order for Miranda to grow up.

I have many similarities to Miranda’s character. I made one best friend in kindergarten, Suja. We did everything together. We liked may of the same things like reading, school and swimming. I didn’t care about anyone else because I had my best friend. But I when we didn’t get the same teacher in the 1st grade, I realized I would have to make some new friends. Although I saw Suja at lunch and at recess, I still needed to spend the day with other friends. When we were reunited in the 3rd grade I thought it would just be just Suja and I again. But that wasn’t the case. All these years she was making new friends too. Although we still call each other “best friends” we know there is room for many others in our lives. I have friends with many different interests and I can learn from them. Even though Suja and I couldn’t control being separated at school, it was definitely for the best. I guess that’s part of going to school, learning new things and meeting new people, and opening up our minds to all of it.

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