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

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3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  435 ratings  ·  90 reviews
"If thirteen is supposed to be an unlucky number...you would think a civilized society could come up with a way for us to skip it."

-- from "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" by Bruce Coville

No one will want to skip any of the twelve short stories and one poem that make up this collection by some of the most celebrated contemporary writers of teen fiction. The big bar
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 2003)
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Geektastic by Holly BlackHow They Met, and Other Stories by David LevithanThe Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. RowlingLet It Snow by John Green13 by James Howe
YA Short Stories & Collections
5th out of 253 books — 86 voters
21 Proms by David LevithanSixteen by Megan McCaffertyGeektastic by Holly BlackLet It Snow by John GreenFriends by Ann M. Martin
Best Teen Short Stories
7th out of 26 books — 23 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,089)
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Jianne
A total reminiscent of being thirteen years old, which applies to me.

Person Sharing

** Okay, I just feel like I have to do this. But if you don't want to read about me talking about this and just want to move on with the review then please feel free to skip this part. =)

What is being thirteen like for you?

Well, for me being is the time that I felt magic. But it is also the time when that magic died. Being thirteen to many (including myself back then) is just another normal day, in my thirteenth
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Jabiz Raisdana
What a perfect little middle school book. The stories vary in style as well as content. This collection is filled with tales about relationships, crushes, first kisses, class, family and growing up. Each story is well written enough to act as a mentor text for aspiring young writers, and they are all filled with enough humor and meaning to teach the reader a thing or two about this awkward time in their lives.

I wish we had more copies of this book, so every person who comes into my classroom co
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Michelle
Name: Michelle Muro
Citation: Howe, J. (Ed.). (2003). 13: Thirteen stories that capture the agony and ecstasy of being thirteen. New York, NY: Atheneum Books.
Genre: Short stories
Format: Print
Selection Process: Kirkus Reviews

Review:

Becoming a teenager is difficult and many well-known authors such as Meg Cabot, Bruce Coville, Alex Sanchez, Carolyn Mackler, James Howe, and several others, help readers either relive or get through this unique and awkward time. The stories are mixed with both humor an
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Owen
It was a good book, I guess, but for some reason I can't bring myself to say I liked it. I had pretty high expectations for this book, and I really don't usually read short story collections, so maybe I was a bit misguided. To me, it seemed like...there was only really one side being shown of being thirteen. The stories really seemed to get repetitive as I read on. The main characters were always nobodies, losers, geeks, etc. and at the end they're still 'unpopular' except now they're okay with ...more
Elliot
On the Fringe is a book with short stories written by different authors. These stories have different settings and characters. At first I thought that it would be difficult because each story is different and does not connect to each other. However it was actually a good book. Many of these stories relates by the same subject of bullies and outsiders drugs and things like that.

One of my favorite parts of this book was a story called Mrs.Noonan. This story was about a kid who had two bullies who
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Ellee
The book Thirteen edited by James Howe, is a great book for people that just want a free read and something to laugh about. Personally, I thought that this book was okay, but not the best. There are some real stories, ones from the actual authors childhood, and some made up stories, where the author just created a story that has a good moral. Inside this book there are stories that I enjoyed alot because they were so relatable, and stories which I found confusing and uninteresting. Also, there a ...more
Chris
The book 13 edited by: James Howe is a book with 13 stories of problems of kids at the age of 13. Every story had a message of how you can take care of problems in life at the age of 13. I’m 13 and some of the stories did not really make sense to me, and some of the stories were too simple with lessons that you can learn when you are 5 years old. I think people who are 13 might like this book, it depends if they need a little advice with what might happen when you get to be a teenager. The book ...more
Marisa
The book 13, edited by James Howe, was an okay book. This book would not be a book I would just pick off of the shelf in the library. If you like many different stories in one book, then this would be the book for you. This book have all sorts of stories in it, romance, action, and many more. This book is about finding out what being 13 is like. I would recommend this book to young adults or even adults to see if the can relate to some of the things that they might have done when they were 13 ye ...more
Max
I thought that this was a very awkward book. It told me about weird thing that I might do while being 13 and made me feel like 13 was going to be more harsh and bad parts than fun and exciting parts. It also told me about bra sizes and being disliked which made me wonder what it would feel like and if this will happen. This book gave me bad feelings, though what written very good by all of the authors. I'd have to say my favorite story was Tina the Teen Fairy, which was one of the super few semi ...more
Max
I thought that this was a very awkward book. It told me about weird thing that I might do while being 13 and made me feel like 13 was going to be more harsh and bad parts than fun and exciting parts. It also told me about bra sizes and being disliked which made me wonder what it would feel like and if this will happen. This book gave me bad feelings, though what written very good by all of the authors. I'd have to say my favorite story was Tina the Teen Fairy, which was one of the super few semi ...more
Christian
Thirteen, as indicated by the subtitle, is a collection of stories about being thirteen. By and large, it's a rather good collection. It has contributions from Bruce Coville, Meg Cabot, Alex Sanchez, Rachel Vail, James Howe, Lori Aurelia Williams, Stephen Roos, Maureen Ryan Griffin, Ellen Wittlinger, Todd Strasser, Ron Koertge, Carolyn Mackler, and Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin.

I realize the premise is that you should experience a bit of what it's like to be thirteen. Mostly, I experienced the
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Terry
'13' has a great premise--13 stories about being 13 years old--and a strong lineup of authors--Bruce Coville, Meg Cabot, James Howe, to name a few--but just doesn't deliver. While there are a few strong entries, the collection as a whole doesn't capture the age, or provide teens with any real new insight. The biggest problem is that the stories feel oddly dated--in style, in topic, in voice, in plot construction. To be fair, the collection was published in 2003; but, what a difference between th ...more
Alex Templeton
Let me precede my review by saying that I am not this book's target audience, now being 16(!!) years away from 13. I was reminded recently that, while I have lots of good suggestions for my middle school students in terms of novels, I am pretty bereft of suggestions of short stories, particularly those to use in the classroom. Therefore, I have decided to peruse various collections of stories in the hope of collecting a few, this being the first.

I have to say that I was disappointed in this coll
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Leah Twiggins
Jul 14, 2014 Leah Twiggins rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone coming of age
Recommended to Leah by: it was on a library display!
i first read this book when i was about 6 years old. i skipped some of the boring stories then, but rereading it at 12, i remembered a lot of it- and the nostalgia was really pleasant! i love this book because the stories show diversity, pride, lots of feelings, short musings, and just fun descriptions. the many authors kept my attention
Terry
This is a solid collection of stories that most 13 year olds could enjoy. All are contemporary realistic fiction, save the last (see below), and there is one poem. The first story, Bruce Coville's "What's the Worst that Could Happen" is funny and worth the purchase price alone.

There are several stories that deal with teen romance/crushes, but always in appropriate and respectful ways, and there is usually some other theme going on (friendship can be difficult, family isn't always what you want,
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Rose McGlew
I had read some of these stories in other pieces and there was little "new" stuff for me here. This would be a great read for 5th and 6th graders, especially, and maybe a few 7th graders. Friendships, feelings, fitting in...all the stuff I see on a daily basis!
Laura
This was a great collection of stories about how it feels to be 13. There were 12 stories and one poem. My favorite one was Noodle Soup for Nincompoops by Ellen Wittlinger. It's about a quiet girl who always stays in the background and is asked by her English teacher to write an advice column for the school newspaper. They don't want a serious advice column though, they want all of the answers to be funny or sarcastic. When the paper comes out and everyone needs to know who the wrote the advice ...more
YouthServices MattesonPublicLibrary
The book was about different stories about being thirteen and how its not the easiest to go through. There are a lot of physical, mental, and spiritual challenges. I liked it a lot because through all of the stories there was something I could relate to.

Kyla, Age 13
jacky
Aug 09, 2008 jacky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens
Shelves: ya, 2008
I saw this book a couple of years ago and considered buying it, but decided against it since my students are mostly older than 13. However, this summer I decided that it was a good choice because they were all leaving middle school and had been 13 so they could all understand the problems of that age. I'm also thinking the stories might help them see that even at their age they have good stories in them, not just stories about falling off your four wheeler and breaking your arm.

I really liked mo
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Dina
This book is a collection of short stories all based on the age of thirteen. Ths book takes a look at a variety of aspects of being thirteen. From a first kiss to a pair of sneakers that a kid just has to have.

This book was a great fast read. It was very entertaining and it kept me wnating to know what would happend next. Although not every story had a happy ending i really liked this book. I could easily relate to each and every of the of the protagonists. I recomend this book to anyone pretty
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Dylan Jackaway
I liked it a lot. Although some were not so much, they were usually interesting.
Kristi
A captivating and entertaining collection of stories. A perfect read for the weekend before the start of the school year...where I'll be spending a majority of my waking hours with 13 year olds.
Nell S
Totally amazing! Each individual short story was captivating, original, and unique!
Zoie
Oct 15, 2013 Zoie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone that has a good sense of humor
I am currently thirteen and I enjoyed reading this book very much! It was full of ups and downs of a life of a thirteen year old. It was basically a book written to prove that the age of thirteen is a curse. And only bad things happen to you during your whole year of being thirteen. It was a book written by thirteen other authors explaining how they’re year of being thirteen was bad luck! It includes everything from dead birds to failed babysitting jobs. I recommend you read the book to find ou ...more
Jay R.
This books is great for kids who are 13 and struggling.
Jesu
This book was alright. I enjoyed reading it since it was seperate stories of the traumas of being 13. Since it was separate stories it was alot easier for me to read the book. Some of the stories were funny and some were dull, probably because i already lived through the event or something close enough to the emotions captured during that time. I remember i enjoyed one of these stories very significantly, but i cant remember which one exact, it was about a boy and him being in a play. Well, i re ...more
Gretchen
13, edited by James Howe, is a collection of 12 short stories and 1 poem about what it's like to be 13. The stories tackle issues like sexuality, friendship, and responsibility.

I really enjoyed this book. The stories are fun and interesting, and a lot of them are based on true events in the lives of the authors at age 13. It's a fun read, and several of the stories tackle real issues that I loved reading about. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about teenagers or reminiscing a
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Anna
This book is a collection of stories from different authors about being thirteen. Most of them are based on experiences they had when they were thirteen. I didn't think it was that good, nnot because it was written poorly or the stories were'nt good, I just thought it wasn't "gripping" it wasn't a page-turner and I don't think I even read all the stories. I would recommend it if you like short stories and if you want to know about other thirteen year olds facing the same problems and decisions a ...more
Rebekah
Must read by Wednesday's Teen Book Club!
.........

Pretty good. Some stories were better than others (they're all by different authors). It was good for our book group because there was something for everyone, boys and girls, 6th graders and 10th graders...The kids agreed with me that the first story was totally boring and unbelievable and written for nine-year-olds, but I'm glad they did not let it deter them from reading further. A good intro, too, to popular some YA authors I hadn't read.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Howe has written more than eighty books in the thirty-plus years he's been writing for young readers. It sometimes confuses people that the author of the humorous Bunnicula series also wrote the dark young adult novel, The Watcher, or such beginning reader series as Pi
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More about James Howe...
Bunnicula Howliday Inn The Celery Stalks at Midnight (Bunnicula, #3) The Misfits (The Misfits, #1) Totally Joe (The Misfits, #2)

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