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13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen

Review

13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen

Author Sandra Cisneros expressed in her story "Eleven" that when you are eleven years old, you are also ten, nine and eight, and so forth. Thirteen is no different. When you're thirteen, you're also twelve, eleven and ten, yet you're expected --- and even want --- to be fourteen, fifteen and sixteen. Being thirteen is a time of confusion and sometimes anger, but it's also a time of hope and wonder, and a chance to start exploring who you are and what you want to become.

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 on October 1, 2003

13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen
by James Howe

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction, Short Stories
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0689828632
  • ISBN-13: 9780689828638