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13 Gifts (Willow Falls #3)

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,710 Ratings  ·  735 Reviews
Wendy Mass turns to another magical birthday: 13!

When Tara, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamb
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press
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26th out of 539 books — 701 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Molly Harnish
Jun 18, 2012 Molly Harnish rated it it was amazing
First of all, it was awesome. I just have to say that. It was really, really good. I got it from the library because I liked reading 11 Birthdays and Finally, and love Wendy Mass's writing style. The cover is eye-catching, and the blurb was enough to catch my interest. (Let me just point out that the blurb on my book is different than the one on this webpage. As a fencer & self-proclaimed math geek, I take issue with the statement that Emily is bratty. She totally isn't, and the book makes t ...more
After a failed attempt to steal a stuffed goat from the vice principal's office ends in the vice principal getting pepper-sprayed and soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old Tara suspended for the final two weeks of the year (in an attempt to fit in with other kids her age, Tara refuses to give up her accomplices), Tara is exiled to the small town of Willow Falls to spend her summer. This is instead of going with her parents to Madagascar to study the lemur, something she had been looking forward to doing. ...more
Jan 04, 2013 Jordyn rated it really liked it
Book Review
Who wouldn’t want to get thirteen gifts on their thirteenth birthday? Everyone does, including soon to be thirteen year old Tara Brennan, until she meets the strangest person of all: Angelina D’Angelo, in the strange town of Willow Falls. This exciting realistic fiction tale Thirteen Gifts by Wendy Mass will make you feel as if you are Tara yourself. Tara and her friends strike a deal with Angelina, just so she can get a new iPod. If Tara doesn’t get Angelina everything on her list b
Dec 07, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
13 Gifts by Wendy Mass was by far the best in the 11 Birthdays series. Every one is the series has its own amazing plot, but this book, being the last in the series had all the answers to the previous books in it, and made everything tie together in a perfect way. This book was indubitably about growing up, fitting in, and learning from mistakes, which most teen books are about, but Wendy Mass puts it together so perfectly it doesn't seem like a meaningless book about teenagers mistakes. It is a ...more
Caitlyn Scott
Jun 02, 2015 Caitlyn Scott rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book because it was full of mystery. At the end of the book everything really came together and made sense of why certain things happened. Can't wait to read the next book in the series!:)
Elsa Carlson
May 27, 2015 Elsa Carlson rated it really liked it
13 gifts, by Wendy mass, is a wonderful fiction novel in the 11 birthday series. This book is about a girl named Tara who moves away from her home to her cousins house is Willow falls. Willow falls is an average town with unaverage people. The oldest woman there, Angelina DeAngelo, is the most strange of all. Something odd happens to a couple other kids on their birthday, and they know it has to do with Angelina. When Tara arrives, she meets Amanda, Leo, and Rory. She immediately becomes there f ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Madi rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Star Rating:

4.25 stars


"Wendy Mass turns to another magical birthday: 13!

When Tara, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamboo Lemur, she must go stay with her aunt, uncle, and bratty cousin Emily St. Claire in Willow Fal
Lauren Asuncion
Dec 16, 2015 Lauren Asuncion rated it it was amazing
The novel 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass is easy to relate to and lovable to readers of all ages. Anyone who has moved before can easily relate to how Tara, the main character, felt when her parents sent her away to stay with her Aunt Bethany for the summer, and how she moved around frequently. Just like anyone who has ever moved before, Tara had to try to fit in with her new surroundings and make new friends. This book is the third book in a series, and I personally have loved every book in this series ...more
Sep 23, 2014 Madison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorits
I loved this book because it all comes together in a very suprising way.Wendy Mass writes in a way that you can really feel for every caracter.You can not not read this book!!!!!
May 07, 2015 Nabria rated it really liked it
For my book review, I read the book 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass. The book is about a girl named Tara Brennan who ends up getting suspended for the last two weeks of school because she attempted to steal a goat and pepper sprayed the principal. Her mom then sends her to stay in Willow Falls with her relatives including her 11 year old cousin, Emily. Although I haven't read the other books in the series, I still really enjoyed this book because it taught some good lessons and was funny. I also enjoyed ...more
Julienne Lalog
Nov 03, 2015 Julienne Lalog rated it really liked it
After being suspended for attempting to steal the school goat, Tara is forced to abandon her plans of going to Madagascar with her parents, and instead to return to her parents hometown of Willow Falls. There, she begins to meet new people, who become stranger and stranger by the next. She meets two best friends who communicate through the chalkboards strung on their necks, a boy who sings at the bottom of a hole, and a girl who may or may not be dating a movie star. But when Tara gets herself i ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Claire rated it it was amazing
This book is in the Willow Falls series. I would recommend reading the first book first: 11 Birthdays, Finally13 Gifts, The Last Present, Graceful. If you like books that could happen but would take a lot of effort than you will enjoy reading this book.

Tara lives with her mom who studies animals all over the world. But after she gets suspend from school she is not allowed to go with her parents on their trip to Madagascar. Tara has to go live with her Aunt and Uncle and cousin Emily in Willow Fa
Mar 22, 2016 Breanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“13 Gifts” By Wendy Mass is a mysterious book about a girl named Tara who pulls a prank on her school that goes wrong. This prank ends up causing her to have to move in for the summer with her aunt whom she hardly knows in a town called, Willow Falls. While living in Willow Falls she starts writing an essay on her thoughts. Tara also meets new people that she wouldn’t expect to meet, while also being able to get closer to her long distance family. She goes on wild adventures just to keep her se
A fun read and a perfect story for teenagers. I have not read the pervious books in willow falls series. But after reading this have become more interested to read all the books in this series.

Tara Brennan, an introvert girl, in an attempt to get fit in with other kids her age, participates in a school prank. She tries to steal a stuffed goat from her school's principal office and get the principal pepper sprayed. She is suspended from the school for two weeks. As a punishment, Tara's mom Molly
Jan 14, 2013 Josiah rated it liked it
"Our actions have long-lasting consequences, of which we often have no knowledge. They ripple far out into the universe."

―Angelina D'Angelo, 13 Gifts, P. 126

"If everyone waited to do something good until they had purely unselfish motivations, no good would ever get done in the world. The point is to do it anyway.”

―Angelina D'Angelo, P. 305

Wendy Mass has really done something special in creating the Willow Falls series. Though 11 Birthdays stands out to me as the best of the first three boo
Clare Cannon
Nov 28, 2011 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 9-14 years (girls)
Shelves: 08-12yrs, 13-15yrs
Wow... started off good, and then got better! After just finishing Finally it took me a while to accommodate myself to a few new characters and an altogether new storyline, but overall I really like that each book in this series focuses on a different character. Those from previous books are still around - and are impressively consistent with their former appearances - and it's interesting to see them from another perspective.

Each of the tween/young teen characters is quite different, but all ar
Jodi Papazian
Mar 13, 2012 Jodi Papazian rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-reads
Having never read the other books in this series, I picked up 13 Gifts because I was looking for a good Tween recommendation. This was a cute story with very likeable characters. Although I felt it had a bit of a slow start, it was definitely a fun read once I got into it.
After participating in a school prank, Tara's parents decide not to take her along on their summer research trip to Madagascar. Instead, she is being sent to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin (who she barely knows) in Will
Aug 04, 2014 Leila rated it really liked it
SPOILERS! I Enjoyed 13 Gifts, but not as much as 11 Birthdays. Firstly, I don't think Wendy Mass can ever write anything in this series as good as 11 Birthdays. She wrote something then that is unable to be recreated. Finally and 13 Gifts are just follow-ups that are, I feel, somewhat copying her first book. But I did still enjoy all of them. My favorite part that happens throughout these books, is that you cannot read them in a random order because you find in Finally and 13 Gifts, Wendy Mass i ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: ncbla
When Tara Brennan is suspended from school for a foolish prank, her parents decide to send her to stay with her aunt and uncle in Willow Falls, the town where both of them grew up. Tara is rather socially inept, partly because the family has moved so often. While they travel to Madagascar for her mother's lemur project, Tara navigates the small town's social order, gaining confidence and making friends as she does. When Tara realizes that she has no money for a bar mitzvah present for David, one ...more
Emma Chaussee
Mar 03, 2013 Emma Chaussee rated it it was amazing
The realistic fiction book called 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass, is one of many great books in this series. In this book, the main character Tera goes for the summer to a little town called Willow Falls. Her thoughts about this change are very negative, she thinks it will be horrible, until she meets some very important people along the way.

Tera is staying with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. Sooner then she thinks, she meet some new friends that she becomes very close to. Tera's bad decision takes her o
KileyP CLC
Aug 25, 2013 KileyP CLC rated it it was amazing
13 Gifts by Wendy Mass is a marvelous book in a series of three. 13 Gifts is about a girl turning 13 named Tara, who after stealing her school mascot gets sent away to spend the summer with her cousin in Willow Falls. The story all begins one day when she walks into an old store down one of the alleys in town. That store is a strange store with a suspicious old lady running it. Going in that store nearly ruined her birthday and in the book she gets caught up in the stress of saving it from being ...more
Bridget :)
Aug 29, 2013 Bridget :) rated it it was amazing
When Tara gets in trouble at school, her parents send her to her mother's hometown- Willow Falls. It may seem like just a sleepy little town, but the truth is, it holds dark secrets, an apple grove, and a mysterious woman named Angelina.

It turns out, on the train ride to Willow Falls, her wallet, which had $200 given to her by her parents, her phone, and her mom's iPod where stolen. So when she arrives at her uncle and aunt's house, she steals one of her Uncle Roger's many comics to sell to Ange
Nov 17, 2015 Jenna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: 8th-grade-books
I loved this book! It is about a girl named Tara whose parents go to Madagascar for her mothers job. Tara is sent to Willow Falls because two weeks before the school year ended she was caught trying to steal her principles stuff lama. I the book she learns about friendship, trust, and not to steal. She finally finds friends and she will stay in Willow Falls for the rest of her child hood. This is an amazing book for anyone any age.
Aug 28, 2012 Olivia rated it really liked it
13 gifts was a very good but strange book, about a girl whose mom and dad are going to live in Madagascar for one summer. they decide to leave her behind to stay at her aunt and uncles house. when she is leaving her parents give her a gift. her mom gives her her ipod and both her parents give her 200 dollers. When she is on the train ride going there her phone, ipod, and 200 dollers get stolen! As she comes to the new town, willow falls she meets her cousin, and her cousins friends. In the end t ...more
Jun 13, 2013 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really like Wendy Mass as an author, but I don't think her Willow Falls series is as good as her stand-alone books (A Mango-Shaped Space and Every Soul A Star particularly). Of the three Willow Falls books, this was the most interesting.
And seriously...those who want to write about the production of a musical really should read up on the process. I'm pretty sure you can't keep a copy of the "Fiddler on the Roof" libretto in your public library for anyone to check out and produce at anytime. A
May 11, 2012 H rated it really liked it
A really sweet and charming piece of magical realism, this is the story of Tara, a girl about to turn 13 who really hasn't participated much in life. Enter a prank gone awry, a sudden trip to her parents' childhood town all on her own to visit relatives she barely knows, theft, a deal with a mysterious junk shop owner, and Tara finds herself engaging with life in ways she never suspected. This book will be well-liked by kids who have liked Mass' previous books. The only weakness to this book is ...more
Oct 14, 2011 Amelia rated it it was amazing
13 gifts was about about a girl named Tara who was struggling with social issues. Two weeks before school ends, she tries to steal the school mascot, a goat. Her punishment is being sent to spend a summer with her aunt, uncle, and cousin in a small town called Willow Falls were there are no coincedences. That summer, Tara makes friends, has adentures, gets in trouble, and finds the real meaning of turning 13.

I would reccomend this book to anyone because it's a fun,easy book to read. I also enj
Mar 31, 2014 Sašenka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-book
4,5* ale zaslúži si to aj tých zaokrphlených 5. Ale dvojka bola o kúsok viac vtipnejšia.
A som veľmi zvedavá na Last Present.
Jun 02, 2016 Emma rated it liked it
13 Gifts
May 12 2016
The book 13 Gifts is about a girl named Tara is desperately trying to fit in with the cool crowd and in her efforts she steals the school mascot, a goat. Tara is caught and as punishment her parents don’t take her on the family trip to Madagascar. Instead, they leave her with her Aunt, Uncle, and annoying cousin Emily in the town of willow falls. Tara looks at this a a way to start over and improve herself. This is hard because on the way there her Ipod and $200 was stolen.
Abby Fuller
Dec 16, 2015 Abby Fuller rated it it was amazing
I read 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass. This amazing realistic fiction takes place in Willow Falls. The main characters are Tara, Emily, Ray, Aunt Bethany, Uncle Roger, Rory, Amanda, David, Leo, Angelina, Mom and Dad. Tara is ready for an awesome summer in Madagascar with her parents. She soon finds herself stealing a stuffed goat while trying to fit in with the popular crowd. Her suspension from school finishing her year early gives her parents the perfect reason to send her to Willow Falls to stay with ...more
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What did you think? 8 16 Apr 25, 2016 12:39PM  
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Wendy Mass is the author of six novels for young people, including A Mango-Shaped Space (which was awarded the Schneider Family Book Award by the American Library Association), Leap Day, the Twice Upon a Time fairy tale series, and Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, which earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly magazine. Her most recent book is Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall. Wendy wrote ...more
More about Wendy Mass...

Other Books in the Series

Willow Falls (5 books)
  • 11 Birthdays (Willow Falls, #1)
  • Finally (Willow Falls, #2)
  • The Last Present (Willow Falls, #4)
  • Graceful

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