Summary and book reviews of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes

by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 317 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 318 pages

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Book Summary

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and her artist, a playwright/thief/bloke-about-town called Keith, go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous -- though utterly romantic -- results. Ginny isn't sure she'll see Keith again, and definitely doesn't know what to think about him.

Could the answer be in the envelopes?

Ginny doesn't know it, but adventures in Rome and Paris are in envelopes 6 and 8. The rules are that she has to open one at a time, in order, so perhaps it isn't surprising that she discovers things about her life and love one by one. Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

Dear Ginger,

I have never been a great follower of rules. You know that. So it's going to seem a little odd that this letter is full of rules I've written and that I need you to follow.

"Rules to what?" you have to be asking yourself. You always did ask good questions.

Remember how we used to play the "today I live in" game when you were little and used to come visit me in New York? (I think I liked "I live in Russia" best. We always played that one in winter. We'd go to see the Russian art collection at the Met, stomp through the snow in Central Park, then go to that little Russian restaurant in the Village that had those really good pickles and that weird hairless poodle who sat in the window and barked at cabs.)

I'd like to play that game one more time—except now we're going to be a little more literal. Today's game is "I live in London." Notice that I have included $1,000 in cash in this envelope. ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

It's easy to get absorbed into Ginny's journey of self-discovery. This would be a great choice for teenage girls who are drawn to such books as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (120 words).

Media Reviews

Booklist - Gillian Engberg

Gr. 8-11. Johnson's plot stretches plausibility......But readers will probably overlook any improbabilities and willingly accompany Ginny through her sensitive, authentically portrayed experiences--uncomfortable, lonely, giddy, and life changing--as she pieces together family mysteries and discovers herself.

KLIATT - Janis Flint-Ferguson

Ages 12-18. As she comes to the last of the letters, Ginny has grown from the shy teenager she was to one who is more independent, more invested in the life around her. At the end of the journey, she better understands her aunt and her aunt's passion for living even in the face of illness and death.

Kirkus Reviews

Aunt Peg seems as real as Ginny, though we find early on that she has died and exists for Ginny only through her letters and memory. A sure hit with fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

School Library Journal - Emily Garrett

The reason Ginny is sent to meet certain people is not always clear; sometimes she (and readers) wonder about the point of the exercise. Overall, though, the novel drives home the importance of family, love, and the value of connections that you make with people. It is a quick read that will interest high school girls.

Publishers Weekly

Ages 12+. Equal parts poignant, funny and inspiring, this tale is sure to spark wanderlust.

Reader Reviews

Madison

13 Little Blue Envelopes
I was in BAM! (Books A Million) a couple weeks ago looking for new books to read. I came across this book and thought it seemed interesting. I have started to read this, I am not finished but I can already tell that I love this book! I have under 100...   Read More

reader42

Liked it alot!
This book is really good. I recommend you try it!!! At first I couldn't get into it but then as the book went on I became very intrigued.

amber rose

i loved it!
I think that this book was very interesting. Who ever doesn't like this book is just crazy. It has adventure, romance, bravery, and in the end it solves that Ginny never really figured out who was sending her these letters, but she has a strong ...   Read More

jackie

13 little blue envelopes
I love this book! It could have not been better!

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Beyond the Book

Maureen Johnson is the author of four books to date, The Key to the Golden Firebird (2004), The Bermudez Triangle (2005), 13 Little Blue Envelopes (2005) and Devilish (Sept 2006) - all written with a female teenage audience firmly in mind. 

She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and studied writing and theatrical dramaturgy (the art of the theater and the writing of plays) at Columbia University.

During the years before she could write full time she served ...

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