{13 Gifts: Wendy Mass}13 Gifts by Wendy Mass
Series: Willow Falls
Published by Scholastic Press on September 1, 2011
Genres: Childrens, Fantasy, Middle School, Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Store Bought
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{Synopsis} – Wendy Mass turns to another magical birthday: 13!

When Tara, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamboo Lemur, she must go stay with her aunt, uncle, and bratty cousin Emily St. Claire in Willow Falls. Tara thinks it’s a good time to start over; she’ll be turning 13 after all, so she might as well make the best of it and perhaps even attempt to break out of her shell (in a non-criminal manner). What Tara doesn’t know is that this charmed town has something big in store for her on her 13th birthday. It’s not a typical birthday. But then again, nothing is Willow Falls is exactly typical!

{My thoughts} – This series is reminding me of another series that I have read in the past. It has a lot of the same elements that are found in the {Bayou Bridge, Louisiana} series by Kimberley Griffiths Little. I really enjoy books like these. They help to develop intertwining characters that have their own story as well as help to add to the original storyline.

Willow Falls is certainly an interesting place. Angelina helps to keep things real in a matter of speaking. I have come to my own conclusions about her and her character, I’d be interested to hear what others think upon reading these books. In this book, Willow Falls has a new resident for the summer.

Tara is an outsider for the most part. She doesn’t have many friends and she has moved around a lot. In attempt to make some friends at school she got suspended and then sent to stay with her Aunt and Uncle for the summer. At first she wasn’t real happy about her situation but eventually when given time to come out of her shell, she’d started to accept her fate and made the most of things.

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It helped to give so much more insight on many of the characters that had been glossed over in the previous two books. There is so much to learn about the residents and the mystery surrounding Willow Falls that there really isn’t a dull moment on any of the pages.

I really love how when you reach the end of each book everything is tied together nicely with a little imaginative bow. Sort of like a present in a manner of speaking, since all these books are written based on the birthdays of the main characters.

I think this book would make a great addition to any child’s library. They are fun and fast reads with just enough mystery to keep you wanting more. I definitely want more now that I’ve finished this book and look forward to starting the next book in the series soon!

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.