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

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  381 ratings  ·  79 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...more
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. RowlingThe Ivory Tower - a short story by Kirstin Pulioff13 by James Howe
YA Short Stories & Collections
5th out of 248 books — 82 voters
21 Proms by David LevithanSixteen by Megan McCaffertyGeektastic by Holly Black13 by James HoweThe Witch's Curse by David     James
Best Teen Short Stories
4th out of 23 books — 20 voters

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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...more
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


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...more
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
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...more
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
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
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
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
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...more
'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...more
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,...more
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
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...more
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...more
Nell S
Totally amazing! Each individual short story was captivating, original, and unique!
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
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
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...more
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
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.
A couple of these short stories were spectacular, but overall, I was underwhelmed by this collection. In less than a day, I have forgotten what most of the stories were about. I was extremely disappointed with the final selection - written by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin - about a teen fairy. It was one of the weakest selections in the collection, and unfortunately, since it was the last one I read, it's fresh in my mind. That story was so absurd, I wish I could forget that I read it.
This is a collection of short stories by some really good writers. I thought some of the stories were good, and some were just OK. I would definitely say the very last story, Tina the Teen Fairy, by Ann Martin and Laura Godwin was my favorite--short, cute, and funny. Some of the stories were way too serious, but a reader could always skip them. The stories are meant for both boys and girls, but I don't think too many middle school boys will find them that interesting.
Molly Grimmius
Technically, I would give this book a 3 1/2 star rating. I really enjoyed a lot of the stories especially since so many were based on real life of the authors. I especially liked the puppet one and the trailer park one. Really excellent pictures of teen life living. The reason it didn't get full stars is that I just didn't appreciate all of the stories in it and it is always so hard to start over with new characters so quickly.
This is an excellent compilation of short stories from a variety of authors, all concerning life at the tricky age of 13. The stories are as varied as most people's experiences with the age. Most are light and lend humor to balance the more serious pieces that are included. I used one of the stories, "Jeremy Goldblat is so Not Moses" during the forensics season this year, and I can see other stories being used as well.
I was excited to read this book because there were short stories in it that were written by authors I liked. I liked most of the short stories in it because they were funny and made you curious about what would happen next. I don't think the book covered all the issues a 13 year old faces but it was easy for me to find one way or another the characters related to our world because they were very realistic.
The Reading Countess
An impressive collection of solid writers penning tales about the most awkward year in anyone's life...some told better than others. Readers will recognize themselves on at least one of the stories no matter how old they are. Brief biographical information follows each story showing proof to an insecure young audience that, see, I survived that year---and you will, too.
Feb 11, 2012 Cheney rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenagers
I was expecting this to be more of a memoir but I realized that each story does have a lot of truth behind being thirteen and the emotions that go along with this miserable age (at least it was for me). I think we can all relate to a few stories in this book. Being thirteen is so hard and confusing, so this is a great book for thirteen year-olds and soon to be...
Mar 04, 2008 Emily rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: some stories to boys
Shelves: ya
A collection of short stories about being thirteen. Each story includes a note from the author and a picture of him/her at thirteen. A variety of topics are covered: religion, crushes, family, homosexuality, etc. Some stories require a more mature reader than others. One of my favorite stories was "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" VERY funny.
I usually don't read short story books from cover-to-cover, but this one was worth it. James Howe did a wonderful job of bringing in talented authors to write diverse, thoughtful, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious stories about being 13. I think I could use some of these stories with my students.
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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...more
More about James Howe...
Bunnicula (Bunnicula, #1) Howliday Inn (Bunnicula, #2) The Celery Stalks at Midnight (Bunnicula, #3) The Misfits (The Misfits, #1) Totally Joe (The Misfits, #2)

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