Written by Rebecca Stead - Audio book performed by Cynthia Holloway - Unabridged Fiction - 4 COMPACT DISCS
- 4 hours, 19 minutes
Publisher, Listening Library (July 2009)
Listen to a FREE audio clip.
Winner of the 2010 John Newbery Medal
Comments about the hardcover printed edition
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2009: "[W]hen all the sidewalk characters from Miranda's Manhattan world converge amid mind-blowing revelations and cunning details, teen readers will circle back to the beginning and say, 'Wow ... cool.'"
Starred Review, Booklist, June 1, 2009: "[T]he mental gymnastics required of readers are invigorating; and the characters, children, and adults are honest bits of humanity no matter in what place or time their souls rest."
Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, July & August, 2009: "Closing revelations are startling and satisfying but quietly made, their reverberations giving plenty of impetus for the reader to go back to the beginning and catch what was missed."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, July 2009: "This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 22, 2009: "It's easy to imagine readers studying Miranda's story as many times as she's read L'Engle's, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises."
Review, People Magazine, July 13, 2009: "Absorbing."
Review, The Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2009: "Readers ... are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward."
Review, The Washington Post Book World, July 15, 2009: “Incandescent.”
Review, The New York Times Book Review, August 16, 2009: "Smart and mesmerizing."
Four mysterious letters change Miranda’s world forever.
By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.
But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:
I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.
The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late.
About the Author: The Search for Magic
I've been on the lookout for magic for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I regularly tested myself to see whether my incipient magical powers had arrived. For some reason I can't now remember, the test itself was always the same: I would close my eyes and attempt to conjure a tiny swimming pool (the ultimate wish for a city kid, perhaps). I imagined that the pool would have a bright blue liner and a twisty slide about the right size for a baby gerbil. I was a strange kid–or at least one who was open to the world's possibilities.
As I got older, I performed the swimming-pool test less and less often. Meanwhile, I read more and more books. I was accepting what wasn't possible and learning at the same time what was.
Books were portals for me. I loved to read them, but hated to talk about them with anyone. The truth is that I hated to acknowledge that other people had read them, that they had walked through those same doors, met those same people, ridden those same dragons, and afterward sat down at those same tables and eaten those same snacks. It was, for me, a terrible violation of privacy.
Like so many passionate readers, I decided to try to write a book of my own–to open one of those magical doors myself. It turned out to be very hard. The door did not spring open at my touch the way I'd secretly hoped it would. The knob was greasy and the frame had swelled in the heat. But as I struggled with it, I caught a few glimpses of what was on the other side–snow, and dogs, and people flying by on ice skates. And those images kept me from giving up.
The wonderful thing about writing fiction is that you can be inspired by the real world without being limited by its facts. You are allowed to imagine and embellish (particularly when one of your main characters inhabits an invented world of ice). I decided that my story took place in Greenland, where dog sledding is part of everyday life, and suddenly I had a cast of dogs. I discovered that a glacier could conceal a freshwater lake. I read about fireflies and learned that their light is triggered by oxygen. A glaciologist told me how to scare a polar bear with a flare gun, and why he loved his bread maker. And then I made a few things up.
With help from several people, I got that first door open. Now I'm standing in front of another one. This time it's locked, and the bolt feels a little bit rusty. But if you need to find me, that's where I'll be.
About the Performer: Cynthia Holloway’s acting career encompasses stage, film, and TV as well as voiceover. She has voiced television programs, radio and TV commercials, video games and audiobooks. She is currently most recognized as voice of Anita Blake in Laurell K. Hamilton’s bestselling vampire-hunter series.