Excerpt from 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

13 Little Blue Envelopes

by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 317 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 318 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


So Aunt Peg was exactly the kind of person who would send her to England alone, with a package from a Chinese restaurant. That wasn't so odd.

The odd part was that Aunt Peg had been dead for three months.

That last fact was a little hard to swallow. Aunt Peg was the most lively person Ginny had ever known. She was also only thirty-five years old. That number was stuck in Ginny's head because her mother kept repeating it over and over. Only thirty-five. Lively thirty-five-year-olds weren't supposed to die. But Aunt Peg had. The phone call had come from a doctor in England explaining that Aunt Peg had developed cancer—that it had come quickly, that everything had been tried but nothing could be done.

The news . . . the illness . . . it was all very distant to Ginny. Somehow, she'd never really believed it. Aunt Peg was still out there somewhere in her mind. And Ginny was somehow speeding toward her in this plane. Only Aunt Peg could make something like this happen. Not that Ginny hadn't had to do her part. First, she'd had to convince herself that she could follow what seemed like an obvious flight of insanity from an aunt who wasn't known for her reliability. Once she'd done that, she had to convince her parents of the same thing. Major international treaties had been negotiated in less time.

But now she was here. No going back now.

The plane was cold. Very cold. The lights were down, and it was completely black outside the small windows. Everyone but Ginny seemed to be asleep, including the people to either side of her. She couldn't move without waking them up. Ginny wrapped herself in the tiny and ineffectual airline blanket and clutched the package to her chest. She hadn't been able to bring herself to open it yet. Instead, she'd spent most of the night looking out of her darkened airplane window at a long shadow and several blinking lights, at first thinking she was looking at the coast of New Jersey and then maybe Iceland or Ireland. It wasn't until the dawn, when they were just about to land, that she saw that the whole time she'd been looking at the wing.

Below them, through a cottony veil of clouds, was a patchwork of green squares. Land. This plane was actually going to land, and they were going to make her get out. In a foreign country. Ginny had never been anywhere more exotic than Florida, and nowhere by herself.

She pried the package from her own grip and set it on her lap. The time had clearly come to open it. Time to find out what Aunt Peg had planned for her.

She pulled open the seal and reached inside.

The package contained a collection of envelopes much like the first. They were all blue. They were made of heavy paper. Good quality. The kind from one of those boutique paper stores. The front of each envelope was either illustrated in pen and ink or watercolor, and they were bundled together with an overstretched rubber band that had been doubled around them.

More importantly, they were each marked with a number, starting with two and running to thirteen. Envelope #2 had an illustration of a bottle, with a label that read open me on the plane.

So she did.

The foregoing is excerpted from 13 Little Bue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022. All Rights Reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.