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13 Gifts (Willow Falls #3)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  6,748 ratings  ·  579 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...more
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press
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Community Reviews

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Molly Harnish
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
Michael
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
Jordyn
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...more
Lauren
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
Jodi Papazian
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...more
Madison
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!!!!!
Josiah
"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...more
Clare Cannon
Nov 28, 2011 Clare Cannon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 9-14 years (girls)
Shelves: 13-15yrs, 08-12yrs
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...more
Leila
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
Barbara
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
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...more
KileyP CLC
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 :)
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...more
Olivia
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
Kristin
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...more
H
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
Tatum
I am warning all of you! DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!i am not tring to be harsh but this is by far the worst book i have read, i mean come on elmo can top this..! hint thats not a good thing unless your a baby. sorry elmo. The reason i really hated this book is because it only focuses on the plot it self, nothing else happens but this little girl running around looking for 13 gifts for some werid ass lady, for some reason i cant even remember.
i cant even tell you the ending because honestly i dont eve...more
Amelia
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...more
Sašenka
4,5* ale zaslúži si to aj tých zaokrphlených 5. Ale dvojka bola o kúsok viac vtipnejšia.
A som veľmi zvedavá na Last Present.
Kacey
this book was AMAZING. it showed that even though moving to different places is hard, you can still make an effort to enjoy it and make new friends. especially when your cousin lives in that town you moved to so she\he can help with the move.
Marissa Juliette
(BIG SPOILERS!)
13 Gifts is an amazing book, and I’m impressed with what Mass has done now. I can totally relate with Tara about almost everything, besides being anti-social. I listened to the audio version of the book and had already read The Last Present, so I was rather confused at the end, because I didn't hear anything about Grace and how she was hurt. But I loved it anyway.
1) Tara and David: I love how Tara and David are kinda in between friendship and relationship. They're so adorable! Be...more
Tiffany
This book tells the story of a girl named Tara who is sent away to live with relatives in the town Willow Falls after trying to steal a goat from the principal. While her parents are travelling away to study animals, Tara travels to meet up with her relatives by train, where her iPod and $200 gets stolen. She decides that she needs to find a way to make up for the lost money by trying to sell some of her uncle's items to an antique shop, instead of buying the items, the woman who works at the an...more
Robin Wessel
The rollercoaster all started when 12 year-old confused and lost Tara took a chance for once and was caught stealing her principal’s pet goat while carrying a can of pepper spray, all to gain popularity. After all, Tara’s pushy mother wanted her to make more friends. As probably inferred, 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass is a true comedy, but with the right amount of mystery and curiosity to connect early female teen readers to Tara’s abnormal yet normal life.
From her weak choice in an attempt to “steal”,...more
Becky
Tara Brennan is the heroine of Wendy Mass's 13 Gifts. It is a companion novel to 11 Birthdays and Finally. It is set in Willow Falls. Tara's mom and dad were born and raised in Willow Falls. They have moved dozens of times since they got married. Tara is tired, very tired, of all the moving. Tara wishes that she had some place to call her own, to be HOME. After an incident at school involving a stuffed goat in the principal's office, Tara is "sent away" to Willow Falls to live with her aunt, unc...more
Jenna
The reason I picked up 13 Gifts was that I had read other Wendy Mass books- and really enjoyed them. I can really relate to her books and they keep me thinking about them for days after I have read them. They make me cry, jump for joy, laugh out loud and really think about my life. Its almost like they reach inside me and fiddle with my brain and make me see life differently. I strongly love and recommend 13 Gifts, along with 11 Birthdays and Finally - one of my favourite series of books.
Kendall
Mass, W. (2011). 13 Gifts. New York, NY: Scolastic.

Additional Information: Intermediate (4-6)

Summary: After trying to fit in with the popular crowd and getting into trouble at school, Tara is sent to stay with her aunt and uncle for the summer in Willow Falls. Tara feels like her thirteenth birthday will be different, but little does she know how Willow Falls will make it magically change.

Notable Awards/Reviews: Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 01/01/12, Parents' Choice Silver Honor...more
Mallory
I have to say, I ABSOLUTELY loved this book! I didn't even realize it was part of a series! You don't need that much background knowledge to read this book (except for the end, there was one tiny part I didn't get, but it was completely irrelevant). I just really enjoyed it. There were so many parts where the story would unfold and I would stop and think about how crafty it was. I really recommend this book, even if you haven't read the rest of the series.
Mary
I enjoyed this return to Willow Falls. Somehow, I skipped reading Finally, and it's been a couple of years since I read 11 Birthdays, so initially I was surprised by the familiar characters and setting, but I now know that this book stands alone, and could be an entry into the series. I'm hoping for more, since I would like to find out more about what happens to Amanda and Leo after their year of not speaking.
Cheryl in CC NV
Very fast-paced - I felt like I was in the presence of a typically hyper 12 year old American girl. Read 11 Birthdays first - if you like that you'll like this, and it really does help to read the Willow Falls stories in order.
Erin
Aug 09, 2011 Erin rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011, ya
This was sweet, but I felt like the "mystical" factor was completely unnecessary. Also it had so many shades of Jeremy Fink but wasn't as amazing as that one. Stlil, a good read and a nice book--I ended up giving it to a 13-year-old who sat next to me on the plane.
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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
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11 Birthdays (Willow Falls, #1) A Mango-Shaped Space Every Soul a Star Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life The Candymakers

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