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The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story
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The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  292 ratings  ·  36 reviews
When newly orphaned Buddy and his lawyer-sister Liz receive a strange message from an ancestor, they travel back in time to save her from being hanged as a witch.
Paperback, 131 pages
Published April 7th 1997 by Yearling (first published October 31st 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 485)
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Marika Gillis
Buddy Stebbins lives alone with his 23-year-old lawyer sister Liz after their parents are killed in a small plane crash. In an outlandish attempt to acquire money in order to pay back their father's debts, Liz and Buddy follow directions that are left on their answering machine by a mysterious ancestor, and inadvertently stumble back in time to the year 1692. Buddy is transported to a pirate ship captained by another of their ancestors, John Crackstone.

Liz and Buddy are entangled in a story that
...more
Adriane Devries
Two orphans get lost in between floors in a mysterious old building and end up in the midst of a family drama several generations in their own past. Dare they save a family member wrongly accused of witchcraft, when doing so might irrevocably alter, or eliminate, their own existence? Anyone who enjoys stories about orphans, pirates, sailing lore, time travel, historic fiction and witches will get a kick out of this salty yarn. Be warned that my family and I might have accidentally learned someth ...more
Beth G.
The 13th Floor is not so much a ghost story as it is a story of time-travelling adventure. Twelve-year-old Buddy and his sister Liz (a grown-up lawyer) lost their parents to a plane crash and are about to lose their house in order to pay off their father's debts when Buddy, acting on an old family legend, calls on one of their ancestors, the fierce pirate Captain Crackstone. A ghostly voice on their answering machine directs Liz and Buddy to the 13th floor of an office building. Once they each f ...more
Aleya Godoy
This is a story about a boy named Bubby Stebbins who wanted to find an adventure. I started reading this book at home when I was bored.I finished the book in about 3 days. While reading this book, you can easily experience what Bubby is going through in his adventure.

The story begin when Bubby and his sister Liz have become orphans because their parents had died. Bubby had nothing to do during the day, he's always trying to find adventure but never seemed to find one.

A boy named Bubby when he w
...more
Drew Graham
12-year-old Buddy Stebbins and his older sister Liz are recently orphaned. Their parents left them a substantial amount of debt, and not even fresh-out-of-law-school grad Liz has been able to climb over their mountain of bills. One day Liz receives a mysterious call from someone with the same name as a relative from the days of yore, and when Liz goes missing, Buddy decides to respond to the call too, and somehow ends up on a journey through the 17th century, including encounters with bloodthirs ...more
Jen
I sort of skirted around this book in middle school; it was always there, always looked interesting, but I never picked it up. Recently, I found it in a used bookstore. After reading it, I wish I'd picked it up earlier. It was absolutely a joy to read. It centred on Buddy, a twelve year old, and his lawyer of a sister. They're orphans in serious money trouble. They get transported back in time and meet some of their family, specifically a pirate, his wife, and a little girl who, when grown, will ...more
Peggy
Sid Fleischman writes great books for kids (boys) that don't want to read. This one -- like Whipping Boy, moves fast and smoothly. Tells the story. Gets the job done. And it's fun! I guess I'm so used to reading series books that to get through a story in 131 pages is a shock.
Chris
This book was a big disappointment. I really liked Fleischman's "Jim Ugly," so I had high expectations for this one, especially since I enjoy time-travel stories. Instead "The 13th Floor" was just silly. A boy and his adult sister, strapped for cash by their parents' deaths, receive an answering machine message from a long-dead ancestor summoning them back to 1690s Boston via a time portal on the 13th floor of a building. So far, corny but good. But then there's pirates and accused witches and t ...more
Kesha
Not real sure why I set out to read Sid Fleischman novels with the exception of Whipping Boy, which is a fun read that highlights the literary device of irony, but I embarked on this tale and found it to be a decent read that will enlighten young readers on the ignorance of the settlers during the 17th century. This unique mystery looks at the injustices the legal system exercised based on superstitions and unfounded claims that led to animals, children, women and men suffering executions for wi ...more
Adam
Far below Fleischman's standards, all the best moments of this story are over by chapter 3. After that, it's all paint-by-numbers storytelling and authorial smugness. A tale of New England pirates and witch hunts, the book demonstrates that issues of great moral complexity are nearly always handled with ham-fisted clumsiness in pop culture genres and treated with what Owen Barfield termed "chronological snobbery" (basically, an idea that moderns are ultra-spiffy-cool and intellectual giants when ...more
Sophie Urban
I didn't like it. Totally not worth reading.
Sarah
I liked it better then the other reviewers did, mostly because I didn't expect it to be anything other then what it was. It is a humorous romp through the past, taking on witches and pirates all at once, appealing to both boys and girls. I liked that it was aimed for a younger audience, there are a number of beginning readers about time travel and books for the older grades. This is somewhere in between, and could work for 3-5 graders, depending on what level of reading they are at. It has adven ...more
Lisa
Buddy and his older sister are desperate. With their parents dying suddenly and leaving behind a lot of debt, they are unsure how to pay the bills or how they will live. It is this desperation that leads them to turn to their grandfather's crazy story about a family treasure, and the only one who can help them find it, is a man who has been dead for centuries.

A fun story, simply written, that weaves history and fantasy together as one. I enjoyed it, and my daughter loved it.
Cathy Hall
Three things I liked:

Thing One: I love a book that's funny.

Thing Two: I love when I learn something from a story (in a perfectly painless way). I learned some pretty interesting things in this ghost story.

Thing Three: I loved the voice of this author. Now I have to go read some more of his books.

I guess that technically, that was three things I loved. Maybe I should change my rating?
Melissa
This is a great book for 5th graders-I think boys will love it, but girls will be interested as well. The ghost story is minor compared to the time travel, pirates, and Salem witch trials. A quick read with humor!

"When newly orphaned Buddy and his lawyer-sister Liz receive a strange message from an ancestor, they travel back in time to save her from being hanged as a witch."
Guinevere
I read this book with the strong recommendation of my 8-yr old son, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed, but that's probably because my own imagination made it up to be something with a bigger plot twist. So that said, it really is a great book for kids, interspersed with knowledge - now my son is looking for more books about the Salem witch trials!
Raufil
Mar 30, 2010 Raufil is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am on the part when buddy and her sis got a message from Abigail to got to Zachary Building and upto the 13 floor.Buddy relaizes that was sere his granpa works and he was a pirate. It is pretty great not so scary so far. I am going to stick with it.
Tracey
Children's fiction; Adventure. Not really a "ghost story" per se--deals more with travelling back in time to when the kids' ancestors lived than with actual contact with the dead ancestors in the present. A disappointment.
Theo
This book is funny and somewhat true. I advise to read all of it before making any judgements including the authors note. It is fantasy, but not as much so as harry potter or star wars.
Lisa
This would be a great book to parallel a social studies unit on the era of the New World/Puritans, etc. It's sort of the humorous version of the Witch of Blackbird Pond, Fleischman style!
Debbie
Owen is apparently a big Sid Fleischman fan! This had a little bit of everything as well -- adventure, history (pirates, Boston, Salem witch trials), mystery ... a very fun read.
Donald
I really think this one was geared toward a younger crowd, but I enjoyed it. Give me a door that opens to another world and I am there in a heartbeat.
Erika Stuart
this book made me want to find a tall building and go to the 13th floor, i read it a long time ago and dont remember much except that i liked it.
Alex


I had to read this book for school. I picked it up giving it a chance. It diffidently wasn't the best book.
Colleen
A great book to read with the kids that includes some interesting historical information while telling a fun tale.
Amanda G.
the book is good the boy was so worry that he can't find his sisters then he was looking for her.
Kaethe
A super quick read. Fun adventure with pirates and witches and no ghosts at all.
Ledawn
Fun pirate/historical fiction/time travel book with orphans. Did I leave anything out?
Pat
Sep 24, 2009 Pat rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 4th-6th graders
Great time travel tale involving Salem, MA around the time of the Salem Witch Trials.
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As a children's book author Sid Fleischman felt a special obligation to his readers. "The books we enjoy as children stay with us forever -- they have a special impact. Paragraph after paragraph and page after page, the author must deliver his or her best work." With almost 60 books to his credit, some of which have been made into motion pictures, Sid Fleischman can be assured that his work will m ...more
More about Sid Fleischman...
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