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13: A Novel Hardcover – July 1, 2008

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Hardcover, July 1, 2008
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006078749X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060787493
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This quick read, accented with humor, takes up a vast array of themes while hewing rather closely to the strand of finding oneself. Twelve-year-old Evan Goldman is ripped from the emotional comforts of his New York City home when his parents divorce and his mother takes him to Appleton, Indiana. There, Evan prepares for his bar mitzvah, befriends a no-nonsense sort of girl, falls in with the popular but shallow middle-school crowd, suffers neglect by his old N.Y.C. friends, and alternately sympathizes with and is appalled by the disabled boy who lives across the street. Evan’s social- and self-awareness get a workout as he realizes the moral edges of both his own and others’ behaviors, and the concept of becoming a man is presented through both his actions and efforts to write his bar mitzvah speech. Brown and Elish keep things moving so quickly that critical questions barely have a chance to register, but 13 is ultimately a fine school story with characters that are limned with enough thoroughness to make them real. Grades 5-7. --Francisca Goldsmith

About the Author

Jason Robert Brown is the Tony Award-winning lyricist and composer of Parade, The Last Five Years, and Songs for a New World as well as the musical 13, which he collaborated on with Dan Elish. At his bar mitzvah he sang a song he had written about breaking up with his girlfriend, even though he had not at that time ever had a girlfriend. Jason lives in California with his wife and daughter.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
I fell in love within the first page and first sentence.
I would recommend all parents to buy this book for their 12 or 13 year old son.
13 was an enjoyable read that will keep readers wanting more.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By And Another Book Read on August 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In three months Evan will be 13. He is already planning his Bar Mitzvah when he learns his mom and dad are splitting up and he's moving to middle of nowhere Appleton, Indiana. On top of leaving NYC and his friends, Evan now has to plan his Bar Mitzvah in Indiana. He knows no one will show up and is horrified to know that it will take place in the basement of the Methodist Church. Even though Evan expects his life to be miserable he soon befriends Patrice, a pretty girl who loves old movies and is a little bit of a geek. Evan never has a problem with her until he becomes friends with Bret. Bret is an all American boy. He's the junior high's quarterback and is loved by all the girls and parents, for that matter. As Evan becomes more involved with Brett and his gang of friends he starts to lose sight of how friends are supposed to treat each other. As the weeks go by Evan gets tangled up with planning his "becoming a man" speech, more drama than he can handle, and a particularly weird situation which includes the movie The Bloodmaster. Evan soon learns that being a man isn't all it's cracked up to be and ends up learning more about himself then he ever thought possible.

I was quite pleased with this book. I don't always enjoy middle grade fiction because I find it hard to relate to, but I can vividly remember being 13. The author made an unforgettable character out of Evan that made me laugh out loud and reminisce about days when I was his age. I remember going through similar situations as Evan did and handling them just about as well as Evan did! This book also made me laugh. Just the style of writing and the words that came out of the character's mouths were funny. While middle grade novels may not be your first choice, I highly suggest you pick this one up and laugh along with the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pacey1927 VINE VOICE on July 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am getting ready to take my three kids to see this musical. They are 14,13, and 11. The 11 year old perfoms in a lot of community theater here in town and has some friends in this production. I hadn't heard of this previously so I researched it a little online and thought it sounded cute. Then we saw it at the bookstore the other day. I decided to buy it and we all could read it to prepare for seeing the show. The book is cute. Its the story of a 13 year old Jewish New York kid who knows his place in this world. Suddenly its uprooted when his parents get divorced and he must leave his friends and prospective new girlfriend to move to a stick town in Indiana. To make matters worse yet, Evan must plan his Bar Mitsvah in a place where he has no friends. Well that just has to change and Evan attempts to do ANYTHING to get popular friends and have them come to his party. What entails is a funny, sad, and then satisfying tale of a boy becoming a man...as much of one as can be when you are 13. Glaringly missing, by the very nature of this being a book, is the musical numbers. To that end, it felt incomplete...like something was just not there. I think I would have felt this way even if I didn't know it was a musical and should have had songs inserted. The book did its job though and made me very interested to see the show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C.Vick on August 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Just a few months shy of his 13th birthday, native New Yorker Evan Goldman is doing pretty well, he thinks. For instance, he's finally made contact with his crush's upper lip. But his celebratory bubble is burst when his parents announce an imminent divorce, and then his mother insists on moving him to middle-of-nowhere Indiana.

To make matters worse, Evan's mom is now insisting he have a Bar Mitzvah, even though there aren't even any other Jews in Appleton, and the only site available for the ceremony is the basement of the Methodist Church! But at least they found a nearby rabbi on the internet.

Still, things begin to settle, as they will. Evan makes a summer friend, Patrice, and then finds himself in the Dan Quayle Jr. High "cool" crowd headed by local football star, Bret. (Although this does limit his interaction with the outcast Patrice, who eventually stops talking to him.)

Now he's thinking that maybe the Bar Mitzvah won't be so bad, what, with a huge crowd of local, popular kids around him -- even if they aren't sure what a Bar Mitzvah is. But then, a misunderstanding makes him a pariah, and he is left wondering if he will ever fit in anywhere. And whether his mom and the rabbi will be the only people at the Methodist Church in a few days.

Interestingly, this novel is based on a musical. Sadly, it is a little trite. It's not quite so bad as, "Wait, I've seen this before. Wasn't it called Keeping up with the Steins?" (A charming little film, by the way.) But it isn't going anywhere that can't be seen a mile away either. The tension falls a little flat when you don't seriously believe that he'll never get a speech written, his Bar Mitzvah will be empty and Patrice will never talk to him again.
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Format: Hardcover
Contemporary Young Adult

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Twelve-year old Evan Goldman lives with his parents in Manhattan until his father leaves the family for another woman. His mother needs a change of scenery after the divorce, so they move to Appleton, Indiana in the middle of summer.

As Evan moves and gets adjusted, he meets a girl named Patrice who he really relates to. But when school starts, he is befriended by Brett, Fudge, Eddie, Lucy and Kendra. These are the cool kids. Patrice and Archie (another friend) are considered geeks. The cool kids and the geeks do not mix because of their personality differences. Evan has to figure out which group contains his real friends, who will attend his Bar Mitzvah, a discovery he makes after a bunch of strange and really humorous events.

This story is about a young Jewish boy entering puberty and becoming a man, and moving to a new state and adapting to a new life. It contains many universal themes - friendship, popularity, being true to yourself - to name a few.

I thought this was a great book! In fact, I read it in one sitting. It felt very authentic; the situations that Evan gets into are exactly the same situations a preteen would encounter. His reactions were typical, but presented in a way that was funny and made me want to keep reading. When Evan was a jerk to his friends to get in with the `cool' kids, I liked the fact that he humbled himself and made everything right with his true friends when he realized his mistake. This is a great book that most preteens would love. I loved it and would definitely recommend it to readers my age.

These are two authors I would read again. They love to hear from their readers. They can be reached through their respective websites at [...] or [...]

August 2008
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