Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Author: Rebecca Stead
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

Photo Courtesy: http://www.rebeccasteadbooks.com/books.html

 The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. –Albert Einstein (The World, As I See It) 

The mystery enclosed in this book made me commit each significant page element to my memory. No wonder this book won Rebecca Stead the 2010 John Newbery Medal. 

Oops! I suggest you stop reading this review further if you want to savor the mystery in the story. I have done no checking of summary or review before reading this book for I wanted to keep the element of surprise in the story. I wanted the pages to disentangle the mystery for me when it should as I was being warped into the flow of the story. Having done so was the best thing! If not for keeping ahold of myself, the pleasure and appreciation of the mystery would not be this much. 

The tension and the questions were intensely building up as the scheme progressed provocatively. My curiosity to chase after the mystery offset my patience pretty well. 

Things started to boil up when Miranda, a 12-year old New York sixth grader, received a cryptic note just after the emergency key of their apartment got stolen. 

First note: M, this is hard. Harder than I expected, even with your help. But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well. I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. Second, please remember to mention the location of your house key. The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you. 

This piece of puzzle awakened the kick for this read at this point. The complication came in when she had no clue about who this person was. Surely, this was someone who knew her and someone whom she was helping. All the more, this was a person who knew her best friend, Sal, whom she had no communication with after getting punched by a kid on the block. Concludingly, this was someone who knew what’s coming forth and who would try to prevent the worst from happening.

These mysterious notes nodded danger for her apart from the ‘laughing man’ (crazy bum on the street corner) whom she and Sal tried to avoid for extra caution. At that instant, she’s alone, with Sal not close for any help. 

The presentation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time as a featured read in the story and the discussion about the curvature of time-space continuum with the other kids in the story were indications. 

Second note: Your letter must tell a story—a true story. You cannot begin now, as most of it has not yet taken place. And even afterward, there is no hurry. But do not wait so long that your memory fades. 

The four notes she received in total came from the person in her future. This person stole their apartment key with the help of Miranda’s letter that she will be writing. The person went back to Miranda’s present to get the key and left the note inside their apartment, so the letter that Miranda is about to write will include the key location. 

Time traveling for me is a theory of jumping from one point in time to another as it is parallel to space. It’s structured in a way that these time-space points are continuously running their progress, thus going back to my time of birth would mean witnessing it happen real time. 

Unscrambling the mystery powered by this notion of bending the time-space continuum, you realize this is not a tell-all review, don’t you? Oh yes, I won’t empty the glass yet, just taste the spill I have yet made. I know you would not forgive me if I’ll tell you the missing puzzle pieces. You’ll soon figure out the whole picture. You can only tell yourself when. ;p _______________________________________________________________________
This book knows no age, though it’s meant to delight children of 8-12 years of age. Now, this makes me want to read Rebecca Stead’s First Light. 

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