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The 13th Sign Hardcover – January 8, 2013


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Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters
"Action packed and well paced, the story's depth incorporates artful negotiation, the importance of education, and citizens' equality and rights." - Booklist, starred review. See more by Shannon Hale
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

What would happen if there were 13 signs in the zodiac? Jalen finds out when she breaks the lock on an old book and suddenly becomes the thirteenth sign, Ophiuchus—the snake. With the aid of her best friend and her older brother, Jalen must outwit morphing creatures called “Keepers” who throw obstacles in her way as she races to save her nana from dying and to learn whether her father left or was lost. To do so, she must survive the brutal challenges of each of the 12 signs (reminiscent of the 12 labors of Hercules) to avoid altering humanity, creating personality shifts, or causing such supernatural occurrences as an attack by an army of Cancer crabs or the fierce charging of Aries the ram. The swiftly paced plot will please readers used to Hunger Games–style action. Kids into astrology and horoscopes will hang on every chapter, especially when they find out that the concept of Ophiuchus exists and is used in some cultural beliefs. Grades 5-8. --Julie Cummins

Review

Praise for The 13th Sign:

“An original, action-packed plot, a resilient heroine, a twist ending and 12 sly, angry Keepers will hold readers on edge. The ultimate astrological fantasy.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“The swiftly paced plot will please readers used to Hunger Games–style action.” —Booklist 

“An engaging, fast-paced adventure through both the streets of New Orleans and the astrological map of the sky.” —BCCB

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312583524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312583521
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am basically a big dork who would still be going to school if they'd let me. (But they won't, cause that'd just be weird.) So instead I write historical fiction! All of the research, none of the tests - I've got the best job in the world, doncha think?

SELLING HOPE was given a starred review by Booklist, who said it was "a bouncy tale populated by a terrific cast of characters!" And AUTUMN WINIFRED OLIVER DOES THINGS DIFFERENT has been nominated for the Volunteer State Book Award (2011-2012 list) and was chosen to represent the State of Tennessee in the Pavilion of States at the 2009 National Book Festival. I'm delighted to have AUTUMN serve as Tennessee's ambassador!

I love hearing from readers! Please contact me through my website: www.kristintubb.com. You're also invited to swing by my blog: www.kristintubb.blogspot.com.

Do things different!

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
36%
4 star
50%
3 star
14%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 22 customer reviews
I would recommend this read to MG readers everywhere!
MaryAnn
I didn't get much depth from the characters and I just hoped there was a bit more complexity in the end solution and some sort of shocking ending.
Juhina & Farah @ Maji Bookshelf
The author had me thinking about the zodiac signs, and the back story, and basically just wanting to fully understand the Zodiac calendar.
Crystal Burns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chels on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book was a pleasant surprise for me because I do not normally read books meant for younger audiences. I expected a much darker novel and almost felt duped by the cover when I first started reading. Despite my initial doubts, I enjoyed learning about the zodiac as I read.
In Jalen's world, the zodiac determines your personality. After Jalen accidentally released the 13th sign, Ophiuchus, she changed the personalities of everyone she knew. It is now her responsibility to restore the zodiac. Jalen is challenged and tricked throughout her adventure and must learn to use everything she has to succeed.
I have read more exciting novels than this one, but think that Jalen was a strong character, overall. The supporting characters were not as memorable for me, but this is probably a result of the personality changes. Inconsistent characters are less distinctive and I have a harder time connecting with them. However, the plot was phenomenal, I can't think of any other book pulling together such a unique plot line.
The 13th Sign is a great book for children between the ages of 10-13. This audience would enjoy the action and plot line. I give the novel 3.5 out of 5 stars.

*Review copy received, this does not affect my opinion in any way*
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a very rewarding and entertaining read, and I am happy to recommend it without reservation. Here's why.

First off, be warned that it starts slowly. We open with a vaguely depressive and sort of sad sack heroine. Her best friend is a bit of a fashionista princess, and the best friend's brother is a grumpy slacker type. I actually drifted away from the book once or twice before returning to it, because I didn't feature a couple of hundred pages of this. But then, whammo, at chapter three everything changes and the book takes off. Our heroine, Jalen, accidentally frees Ophiuchus, the 13th Zodiac sign, (which by the way is historically correct - the Romans went to twelve signs). This is the neat part: because Ophiuchos is now part of the Zodiac all of the signs have to move around to make room, and everyone's birth sign ends up changed, and so now everyone's personality and talents end up changed. Our heroine is transformed into a take charge can-do adventurer. The best friend becomes a solid second heroine. The brother becomes a considerate, supportive and creative third partner. Now we have a team I want to read about.

From there the premise really takes off. Jalen and her friends have to battle and defeat a godlike manifestation of each of the 12 Zodiac signs so as to restore order to the heavens. They have 24 hours and have to travel all over New Orleans to meet and defeat their adversaries.

There are a number of good things going on here. (Possible Mild Spoilers). First, the quality of the writing is way above par. Vocabulary is rich; sentences are complex; personalities are part of the plot and so are especially well developed; descriptive passages are nicely drawn, but there is no showing off - everything serves the larger adventure/quest story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shellra on February 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed The 13th Sign. It played with the fun idea of not just changing the zodiac, but also how the zodiac changes us. For extra fun, you can look at the list at the end of the book to find out how you might have changed.

But beyond the main story, there is a wonderful undercurrent of a young girl's maturation. She learns to see both her mother and father as people rather than as idealized parents and comes to understand that life is a cycle that can't be changed without consequences just like the zodiac.

I would recommend that parents read this book with the young people in thier lives. It can be a great discussion starter!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Hudson on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
When Jalen finds a mysterious, locked book called The Keypers of the Zodiac in a voodoo shop in New Orleans, she is irresistibly drawn to it. But when she finds a way to unlock it, she sets off a chain of events that shifts the signs of the zodiac to make way for a new one, Ophiuchus.

Not only does everyone's personality shift as their birth dates place them in a different sign than they were in before, but suddenly Jalen finds herself facing challenges from each zodiac. If she wants to make it out alive, and change everything back to the way it was before, she'll have to conquer her fears, draw on skills she didn't know she had, and get help from her best friends.

The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb goes on a wild ride through the city of New Orleans as Jalen and her friends face one challenge after another while they make their way to Jalen's grandmother, who is in the hospital. As Jalen faces a challenge from each sign of the zodiac she also must face her fears: of heights, of the reason for her father's disappearance when she was young, of her grandmother dying, and of her friends changing. Along the way she grows more confident in the decisions she makes and more determined to set things right.

Each time Jalen faces a sign of the zodiac she learns something about the strengths and weaknesses of the sign--and the people who were born under it. She learns that winning isn't always about conquering, and that sometimes she needs to trust her own ability to make decisions instead of deferring to others.

You'll find dates for the traditional and the revised zodiac in the back of the book, and it's fun to think about how your own personality may change if one day you woke up and instead of being a Virgo you were a Leo.
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