- Series: 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Book 1)
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (May 3, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062439103
- ISBN-13: 978-0062439109
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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13 Little Blue Envelopes Paperback – May 3, 2016
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
There was something about Maureen Johnson's 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES that appealed to me from the moment I saw the cover, and read the synopsis about the story. An air of mystery and adventure that drew me in from page one. Ginny is an intriguing character, who can seem aloof, or shy at times, but is really fun once you truly delve into the story, and see what she's about. The adventures that she takes part in - and allows the reader to accompany her on - are exciting, and leave the reader ready to truly explore Europe on a backpacking trip of his/her own. Johnson has done a marvelous job of accurately conveying the mixed feelings of a teenager on her own, and the butterflies of first love, and has wrapped them all together in this nice little package. A first-class novel that will be cherished for generations.
Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
Now, though, she is sending Ginny on a journey. It starts in London and will end up...who knows where? On the way, she'll meet interesting people, see exotic places, and, most of all, get to better know the aunt she lost.
The idea behind the story is original and interesting, sure to be appreciated by readers for the fact that it is both fun and meaningful. The characters are all interesting, unique, and believable. Readers will come to know Peg, who has been dead for three months at the start of the novel, through her letters and the journey she took through Europe that Ginny is retracing. Among the interesting people met by Ginny on her travels are Keith, a performance artist who was a bit of a delinquent in the past, and Richard, a friend of her aunt's who once sold underpants to the Queen of England, and various other colorful characters.
For some reason, it took me awhile to get into this story, but once I did, I was hooked. The ending was a little more open than I would have liked, but this is a good book that teens are sure to enjoy. Fans of Maureen Johnson's other books are sure to like 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES. Having read two of her other novels (DEVLILISH and THE BERMUDEZ TRIANGLE ), I was slightly disappointed with this one; it didn't grab my attention quite as quickly or keep my mind quite as occupied as those other two books, but it was still enjoyable, thought-provoking, and certainly worth reading.
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce
4.5-BOOKS on WUAT = 5-STARS on Amazon
Ms. Johnson normally has that pitch-perfect ability to make characters and situations come alive for me. I wasn't feeling it with this one. The premise is interesting enough: a deceased woman leads her niece through Europe via instructions written in thirteen little blue envelopes. However, Maureen Johnson wasn't able to give this particularly wacky situation a soul. It just starts off with Ginny explaining how the envelopes situation came about and a little background on her and her aunt. Then she's off to Europe. That's it, just like that. As if everyone is just able to swing off to an entirely different continent. It had previously mentioned that her mom was disapproving of her aunt and her antics so why was she met with no challenge on the exploration of Europe? I haven't seen anyone bring this up yet so maybe it's only me, but I don't think most parents would want their child gallavanting alone through unfamiliar countries. Even a brief mentioned of a conflict or some sort of parental reaction or even a "Ginny had run away to the airport and her parents currently had no idea where she was" would have brought the situation to life a little bit more. (I'm sorry. I'm nit-picky about these kinds of details. I know it's not a huge central problem but there it is.)
Great characterization is another thing that I look for in Maureen Johnson books.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written story that is both entertaining as well as insightful. The story helps highlight both the social and personal obstacles needed to be overcome in order to maturePublished 17 days ago by Paul
I loved this book. Once I started I could not put the book down. I thought the plot and characters were very well written. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary
This was the best book ever that I have eever said and basically the best book ever. I would suggest this book to anyone who likes good talkative novels and traveling.Published 3 months ago by Christina
Although I don't like books that leave stones unturned and don't resolve everything, this one was enjoyable. Certainly more fun than the textbooks I've been reading lately.Published 3 months ago by frogsster
This was my favorite book in high school and continues to be. very empowering and adventurousPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Oh to have a rich crazy aunt. Fun read with vivid descriptions of various European cities. Fairly predictable plot. No need to think deeply; just enjoy.Published 4 months ago by Kelschman
I want to be the heroine of this story! I felt like I was her, clumsy and self-conscious. I felt her anxiety, her loneliness, and her triumphs. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Karen