Christian's Reviews > 13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen

13 by James Howe
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's review
Nov 19, 2007

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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 realization that some authors should not write short stories and some should not write extended fiction.

For example, the book ended with "Tina the Teen Fairy" by Martin and Godwin. I like the premise for the story, but it really didn't work. I don't know who or what to blame, but I know that I loved Martin's A Corner Of The Universe. She is capable of building amazing characters, but that didn't happen here.

On the other end of the stick is "Jeremy Goldblatt Is So Not Moses" by Howe. I'm not entirely a fan of his extended fiction (such as Totally Joe, even if it has a great premise), but his short stories are delightful and powerful, and he's a brilliant editor in pulling together various authors. (I highly recommend The Color of Absence: 12 Stories About Loss and Hope.)

In the end, this is a good compilation of stories that are worth reading, unlike Guys Write for Guys Read.

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