Tuesday, August 20, 2013

13 Gifts by Wendy Mass

13 Gifts by Wendy Mass

Tara is in big trouble.  She has no friends and has agreed to do something stupid in exchange for friendship.  Basically, Tara broke into school to steal a goat.  She gets caught and is suspended for the last two weeks of school.  Her parents decide to send her away to stay with her Aunt and Uncle, and cousin Emily for the summer in Willow Falls.

Tara is a shy, quiet, fade into the background kind of kid.  Her cousin Emily, decides to throw her a big party, the last thing Tara wants, so she can meet others her own age and make a friend or two.  For the first time in her life, Tara meets people who become her truest friends.  She also meets a medaling strange old woman named Angelina D'Angelo.   With her 13th birthday coming up, Angelina has given Tara an ultimatum, to find the 13 mysterious, seemingly unconnected items on the list before her 13th birthday or face the consequences.

Turning 13 is a milestone birthday, a rite of passage in and of itself.  "At thirteen your soul becomes settled in your body. You become the core of the person you will be for the rest of your life." pg.  126.  Wendy Mass's characters celebrate becoming who they are in unique ways and her stories tend to revolve around a birthday.  Let's face it, birthdays are important to kids everywhere.

I absolutely adore Wendy Mass.  She writes books for pre-teens and she highlights values and important milestones in their lives, like turning 13.  She is very inspiring to me as a parent and I encourage my kids to read her books.  My daughter will be turning 13 in three months time and this book will be one of her gifts.  We created a time capsule for her as well and she gets a cell phone, to join Facebook, shave her legs and other milestone moments in a girls life.  13 is a big year of change for boys and girls.  I'm so excited for her.

The other book I adore by Wendy Mass and I had my son read when he turned 13 is Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life.  I highly recommend Wendy's Mass's books as a parent.  They are clean, creative and value oriented.  She includes important life lessons for her characters that 11-13 year olds can relate to.