13

Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen

13

Edited by: James Howe
For Ages: 12 - 99
"If thirteen is supposed to be an unlucky number...you would think a civilized society could come up with a way for us to skip it."

-- from "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" by Bruce Coville

No one will want to skip any of the twelve short stories and one poem that make up this collection by some of the most celebrated contemporary writers of teen fiction. The big bar mitzvah that goes suddenly, wildly, hilariously out of control. A first kiss -- and a realization about one's sexual orientation. A crush on a girl that ends up putting the boy who likes her in the hospital. A pair of sneakers a kid has to have. By turns funny and sad, wrenching and poignant, the moments large and small described in these stories capture perfectly the agony and ecstasy of being thirteen.
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416926849 | 
  • October 2006 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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About the Book
 

“ . . . Hilarious and poignant . . . An upbeat and reassuring novel that encourages preteens and teens to celebrate their individuality.” —Publishers Weekly

 

« “Howe tells the truth about the pain and anger caused by jeers and name-calling in a fast, funny, tender story that will touch readers.” —Booklist, starred review

 

Bobby, Skeezie, Addie, and Joe are “the misfits.” Bobby is fat. Skeezie dresses like it’s 1957. Addie is tall, brainy, and outspoken. And Joe is gay. They’re used to being called names, but they know they’re better than the names they’re called.

 

Besides, they’ve always had each other when times got tough. And surviving seventh grade looks like it’s not going to be easy. Starting with Addie’s refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance and her insistence on creating a new political party to run for student council, the Gang of Five, as the four friends call themselves, is in for the year of their lives. It’s a year in which they learn about politics and popularity, love and loss, and what it means to be a misfit. After years of insults, the Gang of Five is determined to stop name-calling at their school. Finally, they are going to stand up and be seen—not as the one-word jokes their classmates have tried to reduce them to, but see more

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