Cover image for Thirteenth child
Title:
Thirteenth child
Author:
Wrede, Patricia C., 1953-
Personal Author:
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
344 p. ; 22 cm.
Summary:
Eighteen-year-old Eff must finally get over believing she is bad luck and accept that her special training in Aphrikan magic, and being the twin of the seventh son of a seventh son, give her extraordinary power to combat magical creatures that threaten settlements on the western frontier.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780545033428
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

#1 NYT bestselling author Pat Wrede returns to Scholastic with an amazing new trilogy about the use of magic in the wild, wild west.

Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent -- and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild.
With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.


Author Notes

Patricia Collins Wrede is an American fantasy writer, born 1953 in Chicago, Illinois; she is the eldest of five children.

She graduated from Carleton College in 1974 with a BA in Biology. She earned an MBA from University of Minnesota in 1977. She finished her first book in 1978. She is a full-time writer.

She is a vegetarian and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her three cats.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A talent for magic runs in Eff's family. Tormented by an uncle who believes that Eff, as the thirteenth child, will bring disgrace and doom to all around her, she is relieved when her parents decide to move the family westward. She grows up enjoying the greater freedom of the frontier, but when something disturbs the magic spells that keep outlying settlements safe, Eff, brother Lan, and their allies must face a dangerous, unpredictable foe. Eff narrates the tale of her life, beginning at age five and ending when she is 18. The time period of the novel is unusually long, but the writing flows well. In one of the few American alternate-history novels for young people, Wrede combines a coming-of-age story with details of frontier life, sightings of prehistoric and magical beasts, and a nod toward global awareness in the field of magic. An original beginning for the Frontier Magic series.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2009 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in a historical America where magic is part of daily life, Wrede's novel, first in the Frontier Magic series, follows Eff, the 13th child in her family, and the twin of a seventh son of a seventh son. This makes her twin, Lan, a "natural-born magician," while many see Eff as a curse ("If I spilled my soup, it was done apurpose... if a ball I kicked went astray... it was done deliberately in malice and spite"). Eff's family moves to the North Plains Territory where her father has been offered a professorship near the Great Barrier, the spell set up to protect the settlements from animals, magical and otherwise. Wrede (the Enchanted Forest Chronicles) creates a rich world where steam dragons seem as normal as bears, and a sympathetic character in Eff, who has been scarred by the belief that she is evil. There are hints that Eff has more power than she realizes, but the climax is slow to come and lacks the payoff readers will crave after years of Eff's meekness and playing the role as observer in her own life. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

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. Reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's "Alvin Maker" books (Tor), this is an interesting, but often slow-moving tale.-Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.