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13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen Paperback – October 1, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
There are several stories that deal with teen romance/crushes, but always in appropriate and respectfull ways, and there is usually some other theme going on (friendship can be difficult, family isn't always what you want, etc.) A couple of the pieces have Gay-possitive elements.
The final story, Ann M. Martin and Laura Goodwin's "Tina the Teen Fairy" would be an excellent read-aloud for the first week of middle school, as it follows a fairy who must convince a girl that turning 13 is important. As a 7/8 grade teacher, I've already used a few of these pieces in class.
Twelve authors and one poet, including teen fiction luminaries like Ron Koertge and Ellen Wittlinger, share thirteen stories that range from humorous to heartbreaking, all about the joy --- or the lack thereof --- of being thirteen years old. In Ann Martin and Laura Godwin's "Tina the Teen Fairy," a fairy visits Maia, who wants nothing more in life than not to turn thirteen, on the evening before her birthday. James Howe explores what a bar mitzvah means to one boy in "Jeremy Goldblatt is So Not Moses." As these authors show, it doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor, male or female, urban or rural --- there are some things about being thirteen that no one can escape.
13 is not a survival guide to anyone's thirteenth year; rather, it is a compilation of thoughts, memories and feelings that each author contributes to the reader. Instead of trying to guide the reader, these stories serve as sympathy and example. It is a collection anyone can enjoy, whether he/she is 13, 23 or 53.
--- Reviewed by Carlie Kraft Webber
A few drawbacks, though. First of all, the cover is a bit misleading, as it shows a male teen on the cover, but in fact very few of the stories feature male protagonists. So yes, there are more female writers writing about teen girls in this book, but disappointingly, even the stories written by male authors feature female protagonists! Given that teen boys tend to be the reluctant readers, this imbalance does not help. Even more frustrating, one of the few stories that does have a male protagonist is chiefly about that protagonist's struggles with perhaps being gay.
"What's The Worst That Could Happen" by Bruce Coville - a funny but mostly painful tale of embarrassment that is bound to make the reader squirm at least once or twice.
"Squid Girl" by Todd Strasser - a fascinating (and very funny) story about a girl who meets a boy while on vacation, told from an idiosyncratic second-person point of view.
"Noodle Soup for Nincompoops" by Ellen Wittlinger - the story of a shy sideline-sitter who is able to express herself for the first time in the kooky guise of an anonymous advice columnist for her school paper.
Other popular authors whose pieces are included in this compendium include Meg Cabot ("The Princess Diaries," "All-American Girl," etc.), Ann M. Martin ("The Baby-Sitters Club" series, etc.), and James Howe ("Bunnicula," etc.) who also served as editor for this collection. I personally think this book will be enjoyed by readers of all ages - those who have already been thirteen, those who are not thirteen yet, and those who are thirteen right now.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for our nephew's 13th birthday. He's enjoyed it.Published 22 days ago by Tamara L Whitaker
UNFORTUNATELY M 13 YEAR OLD THOUGHT HE WAS TOO COOL FOR THE BOOKPublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
The jury's out on this one. It was a Christmas present for a 13-year old who is already showing the teenage attitude. I'll let you know when he gets around to reading it.Published 20 months ago by Jane
My middle school students enjoy these stories. Great for parents and teachers to read too. Insightful.Published 21 months ago by Nic