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Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic) by…
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Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic) (edition 2010)

by Patricia C. Wrede

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0006212,341 (3.81)89
Member:krau0098
Title:Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic)
Authors:Patricia C. Wrede
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2010), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Already Read, Your library, Audio Book
Rating:****
Tags:alternate history, fantasy, magic, young adult

Work details

Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

  1. 10
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    The Glass Sentence (The Mapmakers Trilogy) by S. E. Grove (bluenotebookonline)
    bluenotebookonline: Two stories set in an alternative America in the 1800s: in both, there's magic in the West and things are changing quickly. Both also center on young female protagonists. (Note: The Glass Sentence has a few more mature themes than Thirteenth Child.)… (more)
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    Mammoths of the Great Plains: plus Writing Science Fiction During World War Three and "At the Edge of the Future" Outspoken Interview by Eleanor Arnason (sandstone78)
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» See also 89 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
  Maddz | Mar 19, 2018 |
I decided to grab this from the library, because I’m a fan of Patricia C. Wrede, and I love magic books that take the folklore about seventh children and spin it into a real, magical thing. However, even expecting something interesting, Thirteenth Child pleasantly surprised me with how enjoyable of a story it is. The main character, Eff, is a thirteenth child; a status that holds stigma where she’s from, so her family moves away with her to a new city, where she can grow up without the stigma. That new city, however, is on the frontier, dangerously close to the magic barrier that keeps all the magic wildlife away from human settlements. This story focuses on Eff’s coming of age in the backdrop of an alternate-history magical realm where humans are settling the frontier, but doing so while being preyed upon magical creatures and forces.

As with any book she writes, Wrede creates a compelling world where magic is real. Much of the magic is loosely based upon folklore of different cultures, which I found to be fascinating. Eff’s twin, Lan, seems to be a natural at it, where Eff is so afraid of hurting people, she stifles her own magical growth. I especially loved the fact that Eff faces new variations of the same challenge as she gets older. She is constantly fighting the fear of hurting people and being unlucky to others, and that takes on different iterations as she grows, which is such a realistic way to deal with internal conflict; if we look at our own lives, I feel we would also find a common core element of what we’re actually fighting against, even though it takes different faces.

I also really appreciated that what helps Eff a lot in her early years is the fact that she has a strict, no-nonsense teacher who believes in her abilities and scoffs at the idea of her being unlucky simply for being a thirteenth child. I’m a sucker for any story that shows just how much teachers can shape our lives by giving us a little bit of encouragement when we most need it, and I’m so happy this was included in this story. Of course, along with that is Eff’s friendships and her relationships with her family, which are also super important. For all this story deals with magic, it’s depictions of people and what growing up is like is right on the money in terms of realism.

Overall, I thought this was a great book and I think that middle grade and young adult readers will especially love it. It’s mostly about coming of age, but also has the fun and thrill of magic and fantastical creatures and such. There were parts that were a bit slow, but overall, I just really enjoyed reading about Eff and getting to know her. I’m super excited to pick up the sequel.

Also posted on Purple People Readers. ( )
  sedelia | Feb 13, 2018 |
Have always loved Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest series, so why not try this one.. has the typical First-in-a-series-syndrome: must tell back story, set up...
But even that didn't deter enjoyment. Alt frontier America, various sorts of magic...
Looking forward to book 2. ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
Although Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede started out well enough, as the book went on I found myself struggling to maintain my interest. I liked the premise and had high hopes that this would develop into an exciting story but this book lacked humor, heart and adventure. All too often I found myself counting the chapters that were left to complete the book.

Eff is the thirteenth child born in a family of magicians, she is also a twin and her brother is the seventh son of a seventh son, which means he will be a powerful magician himself. Eff, as a thirteenth child, is viewed with distrust and suspicion, as thirteen is an unlucky number and thirteen children are thought to make bad things happen to the people around them. When her father accepts a job on the western frontier, her position in the family is kept quiet.

The setting is an alternative land where strange creatures still roam and magic is in everyday use. Unfortunately, the story moved very slowly, the main character was entirely too apologetic and whiny and there was very little action. This is the first book in a trilogy but I highly doubt that I will be continuing on with the next book. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jan 9, 2017 |
Wrede turns her hand to the Americas, and specifically the Frontiers. Taking place in the mid 1800's, this is about a girl, whose brother is the 7th son of a seventh son, and she is the 13th child.
Grows up thinking she is somehow bad because of being unlucky number 13, until the family moves west to help expand a college town. This is the pioneer story, like Caddy Woodlawn or Laura Ingals Wilder, with magic. This story ends with Eff, the girl, saving some pioneers by using a non-conventional way with some magic in dealing with some magical bugs. Sounds kind of funny, but this was a good book and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series as it comes out. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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Patricia C. Wredeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stengel, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Beth Friedman, who steered this back on track more times than I care to count.
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"Everyone knows that a seventh son is lucky."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 054503342X, Hardcover)

#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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:32 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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