Tuesday, June 19, 2012

13 Gifts

It all started when Tara Brennan agreed to break into her school and steal the principal's prize goat.  Of course she gets caught, expelled, and utterly humiliated.  Her parents are angry and disappointed, so how can she tell them her real reason for going along with this crazy scheme was because of her mother's constant pressure for Tara to make friends.  That's hard to do when the whole family moves to a new town every year; Tara is used to being the girl on the sidelines, and she's comfortable there.

But thanks to the goat incident, Tara is on her way to Willow Falls, alone!  Willow Falls is her parents home town, but Tara's never been there, and she hasn't seen her Aunt Bethany, Uncle Roger, and cousin Emily in years.

Things go wrong before they can even get started, and Tara has no choice but work with this crazy old lady with a duck-shaped birthmark named Angelina.  Angelina is basically blackmailing Tara to find 13 crazy items on a list.  It seems impossible, but the kids in Willow Falls surprise Tara.  Not only do they want to be her friends, it seems like they can't wait to help her work through the list.

Along the way, Tara will learn some things about herself and how friendship can enrich her life.  She'll also learn some pretty shocking truths about her own family and maybe find a way to become a whole person.

This is the third book in the 11 Birthdays cycle, and judging by the ending, author Wendy Mass, and Willow Falls, aren't finished with us yet!

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