Wednesday, July 29, 2009


If you want to get to know a 13-year old, then grab a copy of James Howe’s book 13: Thirteen stories that capture the agony and ecstasy of being thirteen. This is must-reading for parents and teachers of 12-year old kids!

You would think that switching from authoring
Bunnicula to 13 would be a leap, but Howe does a marvelous job editing this compilation of short stories, giving the reader insights into what a 13-year old goes through. Each author of the 13 stories gives his/her own take on the age, and at the end of each story, there is a comment from the author about the story and the age. Short bios and snap shots of the authors when they were 13 are neatly tucked in at the end of each story.

As an example, here is what Stephen Roos author of the short story “Picky Eater” has to say about the age in his comment, “For me, thirteen was exhilarating, bewildering, scary, and wildly inconclusive. It seemed just plain wrong to give Woody [main character in the story] an awareness of what it all meant when I spent that year growing more and more clueless. All I can say is I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but once was enough. I sincerely doubt many people could survive it twice.”

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