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13 Little Blue Envelopes Hardcover – August 23, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8-10–This whirlwind adventure begins as Ginny, 17, reads a letter from her free-spirited, unpredictable Aunt Peg, who has recently passed away. She is given several destinations, four rules, and the instruction to open one envelope upon her arrival at each place. Thus begins a rapid tour of Europe as the teen struggles to accomplish the tasks established by her aunt. The motivation: Ginny wants to understand the woman's wanderlust and, possibly, she just wants a connection to her beloved relative. Throughout her adventures in Rome, Paris, Greece, England, and the Netherlands, the teen collects pieces of Peg's past and learns more about her rapid departure. She also learns much about herself. The reason Ginny is sent to meet certain people is not always clear; sometimes she (and readers) wonder about the point of the exercise. Overall, though, the novel drives home the importance of family, love, and the value of connections that you make with people. It is a quick read that will interest high school girls.–Emily Garrett, Naaman Forest High School, Garland, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 8-11. Seventeen-year-old Ginny had always admired her aunt Peg, a free-spirited artist who often disappeared for months, most recently to Europe. Now Aunt Peg has died of brain cancer, and in a characteristically cryptic gesture made before her death, she arranged for her niece to receive a plane ticket to London, where Ginny will begin a series of adventures. Guided by Peg's friends and the instructions in each of 13 letters her aunt wrote, Ginny sets off across Europe. Staying with Peg's contacts or in hostels, Ginny begins to peel away some of the mythic layers surrounding her aunt, even as she falls into thrilling escapades and a blossoming romance. Johnson's plot stretches plausibility. Would Ginny's practical mother really have agreed to such a solo, undefined journey? But readers will probably overlook any improbabilities and willingly accompany Ginny through her sensitive, authentically portrayed experiences--uncomfortable, lonely, giddy, and life changing--as she pieces together family mysteries and discovers herself. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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Ginny is a somewhat timid girl and finds some of the tasks quite challenging. The letters are Peg's way of imparting some wisdom to Ginny since she won't be there for her as she had promised.
I enjoyed the book. I did think that it required some suspension of belief.
A shy young girl, grieving for her recently deceased aunt, finds herself on an epic quest across Europe while following the instructions left for her in 13 envelopes.
Charming, addictive and worthwhile!
Ginny's Aunt disappears without a trace. She just took off one day and didn't tell anybody where or when she would be back. A few years later, they received a phone call to say she had passed away.
Ginny received a letter, she had to go to the shop under her Aunts apartment to pick up a parcel. This was the beginning! Inside the parcel was 13 letters. In each envelope there was a task for Ginny to complete and details of what her Aunt was thinking and experiencing while she traveled by herself.
Ginny travels all over Europe following her Aunts directions. She discovers courage that she never realised she had. Makes new friends and potential boyfriends. For a 17 year old, this is the biggest adventure of her life.
This was an amazing adventure that does contain a sad story as well. I was crying along with Ginny and laughing. Overall this was a great book and even better knowing there is a sequel.