The Thirteenth Child

TheThirteenthChild

The Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

From School Library Journal

Gr 7–9—In this alternative history, a magical barrier protects most people from the dangerous magical creatures of the Wild West. Eff is a 13th unlucky child who supposedly will cause doom and misfortune, and is twin sister to Lan, the lucky and extra-magical 7th son of a 7th son. This novel covers a lot of ground both in time, following Eff from when she’s 5 until she’s 18, and in distance, as Eff’s family moves to the Western frontier when Eff’s magic-professor father and practical mother decide that the move will hide Eff and Lan’s differences. Then Lan’s potential is revealed after he causes an annoying classmate to float. When he leaves to go to school back East, Eff follows her own path to learning more about magic, including assisting in caring for the magical creatures at her father’s college. Her narration provides background about life in this version of early America, where magic helps with daily chores but brings its own dangers. Eff’s life in Lan’s shadow will ring true to all siblings of a particularly talented child, but at the conclusion it’s Eff who uses her own magic to rescue her twin.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited when I saw that Patricia C. Wrede had a new book coming out and it was worth the wait. Althoug not as funny as he Enchanted Forest Chronicles, this book was a fun look at how peoples perspection of a person can make them doubt their abilities. Effie was a character who constantly doubts herself because she was born a thirteeth child in a place where birth order is everything. Being the unlucky thirteen is hard on Effie but as she grows she learn we make our own path with her pioneer spirit. Great book for teens who are looking for a book about magic with a pioneer twist.

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