Monday, March 15, 2010

Thirteenth Child

Wrede, Patricia C. 2009. THIRTEENTH CHILD. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780545033428 [Suggested Grade Levels 7- 9]

An alternate American frontier is the setting for the first installment of Patricia Wrede’s Frontier Magic series. This is no LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. Children go to school to study traditional magic. Chores are done with the help of magical spells. Adult magicians use their magic to protect new settlements from deadly animals, both natural and magical. There are some people that don’t believe in using magic and want to establish a new settlement that is completely magic free.

The THIRTEENTH CHILD is narrated by Eff. She is the thirteenth child, which is considered unlucky and by some of her own relatives, downright evil. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. Lan is supposed to possess amazing magical powers and always have good luck. When Eff and Lan’s father accepts a position as a professor of magic at a college on the North Plains Territory, Eff doesn’t have to live under the scrutiny of her relatives anymore. She is able to grow as a magician and a person, but ever mindful of her possible fate as a thirteenth child. Wrede is thorough in building this alternate America, even though quite a bit of time passes in this first installment. The reader follows Eff from the time she is five until she is eighteen.

Invite kids to create maps of the new frontier.
For an art project readers can create paper mache steam dragons or other creatures from the new territory.

Other books by Patricia Wrede:
THE GRAND TOUR. ISBN 9780152055561

Additional books on the topic of magic:
Duey, Kathleen. SKIN HUNGER. ISBN 9780689840937

By Jane Jergensen

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