October 4th, 2009 by Karen
Too bad. For a split second, I had entertained the notion that it was a series of postcards, deliberately left in a trail along the sidewalk for a specific person to find. Wouldn’t that have been much more exciting than the plain old litter it turned out to be?
I guess I’m just under the influence of When You Reach Me, a new novel by Rebecca Stead that I read last week. In the book, sixth-grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious messages from a stranger who seems to know the future — and I stayed up WAY past my bedtime to finish the whole thing and discover the end of the story.Funnily enough, I also just bought myself a copy of another book involving anonymous messages — Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze, a childhood favorite of mine by Elizabeth Enright. It’s the last book in a series about the Melendy family, but I read it first and it’s still the installment that I love the best. In it, Randy and Oliver are feeling lonely after their older siblings all leave home for school. But things change in an instant when they receive a surprise message from an anonymous source, leading them on a treasure hunt via more mysterious notes and clues.
So, who’s behind all these strange notes? In the case of When You Reach Me, I figured out the sender partway through the book — but I was stumped as to why, up until the dramatic ending. With Spiderweb for Two, I couldn’t even begin to guess who the messages were from — but I loved following along with Randy and Oliver as they pieced together each new puzzle.
Now I’m wondering: is it just a coincidence that I got my hands on these two books in the same week? Could it be a sign? Maybe I myself will soon receive notes from a stranger…
Or, hey, if you guys leave me some comments on this post, then I guess those would count! Not quite as mysterious and thrilling as what I had in mind, but I’ll take it! Especially if guys have any recommendations for other children’s books about characters who get messages from mysterious sources. The only other one I can think of is The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh — a kind of sequel to Harriet the Spy in which someone starts leaving disturbing notes for various town residents. But that’s not quite the same idea. Although, if I stumble across of copy of The Long Secret in the next few days, then I’ll know something is really up with the universe and I have an adventure in store!