There are a lot of new books on the market for preteen girls. I've noticed one particular author is quite prolific. I have read several of her books, so I thought I would review one here for you.
By Wendy Mass
For Ages 9 - 14
Wendy Mass returns to the familiar setting of Willow Falls for “13 Gifts,” a coming of age story about friendship, birthdays and finding where you belong. Throw in a stage production, a stolen goat and a little magic and things get interesting. Rated 4.25 (adventure, preteen, magic)
Twelve-year-old Tara is a loner. Her family moves a lot so she keeps to herself. When she does finally try to fit in, Tara gets caught stealing the principal’s prized goat as a prank. Sent to live with her cousin for the summer in the small charming town of Willow Falls, Tara makes a new beginning. Unfortunately she gets into another jam. To stay out of trouble Tara makes a deal with a mysterious old woman in the local collector’s shop. Now she has to find 13 random objects or face the consequences.
Magic and mystery are present throughout the search, but only enough for a hint of fantasy. This tale is in no hurry to unfold, which is fine by me. The time is used well to develop believable characters and relationships. Tara makes friends and finds her inner leader, just in time for her thirteenth birthday and a stage production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
The only real drawback to “13 Gifts” is the many storylines being woven together. A lazy reader may get distracted and lose interest. Will this keep middle school girls from enjoying this adventure? Absolutely not. They are going to love it.