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13 GIFTS by Wendy Mass

13 GIFTS

From the Willow Falls series, volume 3

By Wendy Mass

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-545-31003-1
Publisher: Scholastic

A rash decision involving attempted theft of a school mascot sets into motion a series of life-altering events for nearly–13-year-old Tara.

Mysteries abound as readers return to Willow Falls in this third installment of the series. Years of constant relocation have caused the reclusive Tara to avoid forming friendships. She also longs to understand her mother’s mystifying need to continually move. Banished to her aunt’s house for the summer, Tara soon finds herself embroiled in another mishap. Mass revisits familiar ground with a plot that loosely follows the formula of her previous novels, 11 Birthdays (2009) and Finally (2010): The protagonist is on the cusp of a birthday and must go through a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment guided by the enigmatic Angelina. In payment for her misdeeds, Tara must complete a curious scavenger hunt before her 13th birthday but soon discovers she requires the help—and maybe even the friendship—of others. Tara’s quirky personality invigorates the familiar plot. Mass skillfully resolves mysteries while perpetuating Willow Falls’ mystique. Readers will be eager to discover the outcome of Tara’s quest.

In equal parts philosophical and wryly humorous, this magical tale will satisfy both fans and new readers alike. (Fiction. 9-13)