13

13

by Jason Robert Brown, Dan Elish

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Overview

13 Things to Know About 13

1. This book is about a guy named Evan.

2. Three months before his 13th birthday, he has to move from New York City 3. to Appleton, Indiana,

4. where nobody knows him.

5. He's not very happy about it.

6. His mom is kind of nuts.

7. His dad is kind of nuts too.

8. Evan's not nuts, but he keeps ending up in nutty situations.

9. One of them involves a movie called The Bloodmaster.

10. Another involves a girl named Patrice.

11. But the nuttiest situation of all is his bar mitzvah—

12. which it's possible no one will come to.

13. Unless Evan can make some new friends really fast.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061957253
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/16/2009
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,000,852
File size: 678 KB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jason Robert Brown is the Tony Award-winning lyricist and composer of Parade, The Last Five Years, and Songs for a New World as well as the musical 13, which he collaborated on with Dan Elish. At his bar mitzvah he sang a song he had written about breaking up with his girlfriend, even though he had not at that time ever had a girlfriend. Jason lives in California with his wife and daughter.


Dan Elish is the insanely gifted author of many novels for both adults and children, including The Attack of the Frozen Woodchucks, 13 (based on the Broadway musical), and The Worldwide Dessert Contest.

When he's not busy typing furiously away on his Lap-Top (not a Gum-Top or a Hat-Top or even a Balloon-Top), you can find Dan in New York City, where he lives with his wife, Andrea, and daughter, Cassie, and son, John.

Read an Excerpt

13 EPB

One

I Guess it started with Angelina, the flight attendant my father met on a flight from New York to L.A. last year. I don't know the whole story. Maybe he caught her eye while she was handing out pretzels? Pretty much all I know is that on July 15 at 5:45 p.m., I left Central Park and came home to our apartment to find Mom bawling on the sofa and Dad looking sheepish by the terrace-sort of like he had just cut in front of an old lady to snag a cab.

"Evan. Your father has some news." Dad drew in a sharp breath. "It's really very sad." I knew it: My grandmother had died. No, grandfather. Wait, definitely my aunt, oh my god, my aunt Elaine, it was going to be horrible.

"Your mother and I can't live together anymore." I sat-more like collapsed-on our old blue easy chair, like I had taken a giant cannonball to my gut.

"What?" I said. It was all sort of hard to believe.

My folks fought every once in a while, but it was a "Why can't you put dinner on the table for once?" kind of a thing, not "I hate you and don't want to be married to you anymore."

Anyway, the next thing I knew, we were all crying and hugging. Then, before I could catch my breath, my dad was heading to the door with his suitcase.

"I'll pick you up for dinner tomorrow at six," he said. "We'll talk, okay, buddy?"

And just like that I became one of those kids you see on those after-school specials: a guy who sees his dad once a week for dinner and every other weekend. Except I wasn't on TV. And by the time my dad had one foot in the hall, I was crying all over again.

And my mom? Well, she tried to be good, but it tookonly an hour before the bathroom door was closed, and I could hear her screaming from inside: "A STEWARDESS! IS HE KIDDING?"

My dad had made it sound mutual, like something they had agreed on together over their morning latte. But listening to my mom, I realized that it had been a one-sided decision-my dad had decided he couldn't live with my mom. And it began to sink in that, by extension, my father also wouldn't be living with me-not ever again. That night before bed, I punched out my pillow. Then I kicked in my closet door. You might say I was angry. You might say I was a lot of things-none of them good.

The next night at dinner, my dad said all the stuff you would expect. He never meant for it to happen. Life throws you strange curves. He loved me more than anything. I could see he was trying, but by the end of the meal I had tuned him out. Sure, each one of his so-called explanations sounded reasonable, but to my ears he was just spinning lines, desperate to get my forgiveness. Bottom line: My father was ditching me for some woman in polyester who dispensed peanuts across the friendly skies of America. It didn't matter that she turned out to be nice when I met her a few days later. By that point I had already made my decision. I hated her. And to tell the truth, I was starting to hate him.

"But you can't really hate him."

That's what Steve said. He was my best buddy. It was hard talking to him about the miseries of my home life, because he and my other best friend, Bill, were in a much more celebratory mood: Three days before all this happened, I had made contact with Nina Handelman's upper lip at Peter Kramer's birthday party.

"How was her breath?" Bill said. "I bet her breath smells like candy."

"Whatever," I muttered.

"Evan, you can't really hate your own father," Steve repeated.

"Oh, yeah?" I said. "Sure I can." "It's not biologically possible," Bill said. "He's your dad."

"I know he's my dad," I said. "But he took off. I mean, you should see my mom."

It was ugly. For the first few days after Dad left, she pretty much lived in her bathrobe, staring vacantly into space, wandering around the apartment, crying. On the fifth day, while she was halfheartedly attempting to make dinner, still in her bathrobe, I heard her mutter, "I've gotta get us out of here-we're not safe."

"Huh?" I said. She forced a huge, fake smile.

"Never mind me, just talking to myself," she said. "More spaghetti?"

Later that night, I caught her crying again, this time on the phone to my aunt Pam. I didn't really listen much to what she was saying; I just heard the emotional roller coaster in the next room. Suddenly Mom's head popped into my doorway. "Hey, kiddo, guess what we're going to do?" It was the happiest she had sounded since Dad left. "We're moving to Indiana!"

She was grinning, ear to ear, like Dr. Teeth, even though her cheeks were still damp with tears.

"That's great, Mom," I said, and made a mental note to talk to Steve's mom about all of this. She was a shrink.

"Pam offered me a job!" Aunt Pam had an antiques store. She sold about a chair a week. My mother had a doctoral degree in anthropology. Nothing was adding up.

"Mom, we can't go to Indiana. I've got school. And friends."

She looked at me, still cheerful, perky almost. "They've got schools in Indiana."

I went on, making my case. It was only five weeks before my first year in junior high. A few months before my thirteenth birthday.

But my mother would not be swayed; we were moving to Indiana! To be with Pam! Wasn't that great? I argued with her, but it was like talking to a boulder. An insane, grinning boulder. She wanted as far away from my dad as she could get. And I'm guessing she wanted to punish him a little bit, too. You know-if he didn't want her, he wasn't going to get me, either.

13 EPB. Copyright (c) by Jason Brown . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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13 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
In three months, Evan will be thirteen. He is already planning his Bar Mitzvah when he learns his mom and dad are splitting up and he's moving to the middle of nowhere -- Appleton, Indiana. On top of leaving NYC and his friends, Evan now has to plan his Bar Mitzvah in Indiana. He knows no one will show up and is horrified to find out that it will take place in the basement of the Methodist Church.

Even though Evan expects his life to be miserable, he soon befriends Patrice, a pretty girl who loves old movies and is a little bit of a geek. Evan never has a problem with her until he becomes friends with Bret. Bret is an All-American boy. He's the junior high's quarterback and is loved by all the girls and their parents, too, for that matter. As Evan becomes more involved with Brett and his gang of friends, he starts to lose sight of how friends are really supposed to treat each other.

As the weeks go by, Evan gets tangled up with planning his "becoming a man" speech, more drama than he can handle, and a particularly weird situation which involves the movie The Bloodmaster. Evan soon learns that being a man isn't all it's cracked up to be and ends up learning more about himself then he ever thought possible.

I was quite pleased with this book. I don't always enjoy middle-grade fiction because I find it hard to relate to, but I can vividly remember being thirteen. The authors made an unforgettable character out of Evan that made me laugh-out-loud and reminisce about days when I was his age. I remember going through similar situations as Evan did and handling them just about as well as Evan did! Just the style of writing and the words that came out of the character's mouths were funny.

While middle-grade novels may not be your first choice, I highly suggest you pick this one up and laugh along with the story. This book would also be good for reluctant readers. It's not particularly long, yet it is long enough to be a wholesome story. The message of self discovery and being your own kind of person is also a great part of this book. 13 was an enjoyable read that will keep readers wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book never knew about the show until it closed and the book was fantastic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite book in middle school. Jason Robert Brown and Dan Elish did a phenomenal job demonstrating what junior high or high school is like between bullying, cliques, and growing up. There is also a lot of comedy to keep you entertained.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probakly the best book i ever read because i couldnt stop reading it it made yu think it was over then it jumped out at yu and surprised yu with things from the book i hihly reccommend this book and hope everyone likes it FIVE STARS!!!!!!!
KatieZodrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
13 is about Evan. His parents just got divorced. His dad left his mom for a younger woman. Now, three months before his 13th birthday, he has moved with his mom from New York to Appleton, Indiana. Evan's mom wants him to have his bar mitzvah there and it is Evan's goal to have everyone from his new school come to it.This was an all right book. I won't be buying it any time soon but maybe eventually will. The book dragged on at places and a lot of the situations seemed unrealistic. However, at times, I found myself laughing out loud or getting a little teary eyed. I would love to see the Broadway musical of this book, it seems like it may be more enjoyable than the actual book.
schosha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
PLOT SUMMARY: This is the story of 12 (soon to be 13) year-old Evan Goldman. Evan is a typical upper-middle-class, NYC Jewish kid. He's popular, likes his school and is is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah. Then Evan gets an awful piece of news. He learns that his father has taken up with a young, blond flight attendant, and his parents are getting divorced. Evan's mom is hurt and angry. In an effort to exact revenge (and get as much distance as possible between herself and the cheating dad), she decides that she and Evan will move to the rural town of Appleton, Indiana to live with her best friend from college. What follows for Evan is a shock immersion in rural life, football worship, unlikely friends, and an education in what really matters. This book features some unlikely heroes and heroines - including a brainy girl with a love of books and old movies, an obnoxious but vunerable guy with a disabiltiy, and a beautiful cheerleader. It also features contemporary Jewish culture and characters, a real rarity in children's literature (which is full of Holocaust and immigrant stories).MY TAKE: I enjoyed this novel. It made me laugh and cry, and it made me think. I cared about the characters, and there are some truly suspenseful and emotional moments. I appreciate how Evan's character evolves and matures. Since I grew up in a small, rural town, though, I'm a bit iffy on the authors' portrayal of Brett, the junior high quarterback, as the town hero. Everyone knows that high school football rules small towns, and junior high kids don't get adoration until they're in high school. This book leads you to believe that the junior high kids rule the town, which is very unrealistic.WHO WOULD LIKE THIS BOOK: This is a book for boys and girls ages 11 and up who like humor and realistic fiction. I say 11 and up, by the way, because of the boys' all-consuming and frequently mentioned interest in making out and "getting tongue."INTERESTING FACT: 13 is also a musical!FAVORITE QUOTE: (Pages 194-195)"Looking out at the crowd, my eyes lingered on the 10 empty spaces at Patrice and her Dad's table. And I never would have dreamed that I'd think this, but what went through my head at that moment was: I never needed those kids in the first place, and I'm glad they're not here."
C.Vick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just a few months shy of his 13th birthday, native New Yorker Evan Goldman is doing pretty well, he thinks. For instance, he's finally made contact with his crush's upper lip. But his celebratory bubble is burst when his parents announce an imminent divorce, and then his mother insists on moving him to middle-of-nowhere Indiana.To make matters worse, Evan's mom is now insisting he have a Bar Mitzvah, even though there aren't even any other Jews in Appleton, and the only site available for the ceremony is the basement of the Methodist Church! But at least they found a nearby rabbi on the internet.Still, things begin to settle, as they will. Evan makes a summer friend, Patrice, and then finds himself in the Dan Quayle Jr. High "cool" crowd headed by local football star, Bret. (Although this does limit his interaction with the outcast Patrice, who eventually stops talking to him.)Now he's thinking that maybe the Bar Mitzvah won't be so bad, what, with a huge crowd of local, popular kids around him -- even if they aren't sure what a Bar Mitzvah is. But then, a misunderstanding makes him a pariah, and he is left wondering if he will ever fit in anywhere. And whether his mom and the rabbi will be the only people at the Methodist Church in a few days.Interestingly, this novel is based on a musical. Sadly, it is a little trite. It's not quite so bad as, "Wait, I've seen this before. Wasn't it called Keeping up with the Steins?" (A charming little film, by the way.) But it isn't going anywhere that can't be seen a mile away either. The tension falls a little flat when you don't seriously believe that he'll never get a speech written, his Bar Mitzvah will be empty and Patrice will never talk to him again.However, this might not be so bad for a twelve year-old audience, most of whom would be sorely disappointed in an ending where, say, nobody does show up to Evan's Bar Mitzvah. The themes are simple, "becoming a man" obviously chief among them, and should appeal strongly to those around Evan's age. Also, these are tween-aged worries. I remember having some of the same myself.With the whole plot centering around the upcoming Bar Mitzvah, I was afraid that this might be solely a Jewish-niche book, but the themes are surprisingly universal. Replace the religious event with a big birthday bash, for instance, and you have a story that could be about just anyone. Moving, divorce, popularity, friendship, fitting in, growing up, family... this is the stuff YA literature is made of, and it is all here.One aspect in which 13 really soars is the humor. Evan is a very sharp and witty narrator. The subplot with the terminally-ill Archie is often heartwarming, but more often hilarious. (Not at the expense of Archie, mind.) I'll forgive a book almost anything if it is funny.I enjoyed 13, for the most part, and think it will serve it's target audience, 11-13 year old boys, very well. I think, as a fairly simple and quick read, it might be an easier sell for reluctant readers, especially those who will see themselves in the text. For adults, like myself, who enjoy reading a lot of children's and YA lit, not so much. It isn't a waste of time, but there are better things out there.On the other hand, if the musical ever comes into town, I'm totally seeing it.
chstress on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was extremley well written. I opened the book 13, not really knowing what to expect, and came away thinking that it was EXACTLY what it should be. The story does't patronize, or characterize the lives of these kids. Instead it sheds a heartfelt, truthful, funning, touching look at who these kids really are. What they feel, how they fit in, how they see the world, and where they are coming from. There's no telling how successful this book will be, but if my surprised pleasure is any indication, then anyone reading this is in for a real treat!
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broadwaymusicals More than 1 year ago
This Book was great all the way through the musical is a take off of the book the music is written by Jason Robert Brow as well the book has a great story line and the musical is amazing. Jason Robert Brown is great i was a fan of the musical then i heard that it was a book. The story is great and i would recommend it for any age. 13 the musical closes on Broadway on January 4, 2009
mh-reader More than 1 year ago
This book is very good. I misplased it over the summer when i bought it at Barnes and Noble and i just found it yesterday. I left off at chapter 7 and I just finished today! It was so good, I couldn`t put it down! I looked at other reviews from other people, and they say there`s a musical!WOW! I gotta see it since the book was awesome, the musical will be amazing..
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the show in Connecticut like 5 times, and it was so awesome. I can't wait to read the book!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its awesome. And, I heard the music to the show on the website and its really cool too. I can't wait to see it in NY!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The musical was GREAT! The book should be really great too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rgyy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great book i love even and brent