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13 by Jason Robert Brown


by Jason Robert Brown & Dan Elish

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-078749-3
Publisher: Laura Geringer/HarperCollins

“No one said becoming a man was easy,” Rabbi Weiner tells Evan Goldman during preparations for his Bar Mitzvah. But Evan, recently relocated to Appleton, Ind., from New York in the wake of his parents’ split, just wants to “fit in with the people who fit in.” He even manages the feat, for a while at least, hanging with the star quarterback and the prettiest girls instead of the distinctly less-cool alternatives, nerdy Patrice and disabled Archie. As Evan has a conscience and friends and adults helping him on the way to manhood, however, his enticing brush with coolness in his new school is short-lived. This tale of middle-school peer culture is familiar but handled especially well in this tie-in to the musical, which opened in Los Angeles last year. The pace is quick, the humor broad and the life lessons spelled out clearly. By the end, Evan’s Bar Mitzvah has gone well, a sign that he is leaving the “mishegoss” about being cool and popular behind him. (Fiction. 10-14)