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

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  374 Ratings  ·  47 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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(showing 1-30)
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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
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
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
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A super quick read. Fun adventure with pirates and witches and no ghosts at all.
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
Good one for those who want to read adventures, going back to history, pirates.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a time tervel then a ghost story. It is a fun read, I just didn't like the writting syle.
Drew Graham
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
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
Jackson Parr
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aleya Godoy
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Cathy Hall
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
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.
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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."
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't call this book a "ghost story"; the only ghosts are ghosts of the past. It is a time-travelers tale, though.

As an adult, I had a hard time with the overlying humor about the witch trials and law, but the humor is intended for the younger readers. And, like Sid Fleischman's wife, I descended from a woman accused of witchcraft during the witch trials (she was not convicted).

Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
A boy and his sister listen to a voice on the answering machine that tells them to go to the 13th floor of a building. Between floors, they go back in time, he to a pirate ship and she to 17th century Boston where witch fever is wild. Their ancestor is being tried as a witch. Good beginning for learning about the witch hysteria and sort of fun. A quick read.
Jan 10, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
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.
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At their request, I used to read a little bit to many of my middle school science classes each day. This was one of their favorites. Featuring a boy their age, a ghost, time travel, pirates, witch trials and even a possible treasure, what more is there to want.
Mar 30, 2010 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.
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was awesome
Sophie Urban
Feb 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like it. Totally not worth reading.

****Part of POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge: A book from your childhood
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great mystery with historical elements mixed in.
Amanda G.
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the book is good the boy was so worry that he can't find his sisters then he was looking for her.
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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
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