13 Little Blue Envelopes

Ellie McCallum

Seventeen year old Virginia “Ginny” Blackstone lives a rather quiet and normal life in New Jersey, until a letter arrives from her eccentric Aunt Peg, who has recently run away. The letter contains a thousand dollars in cash and instructions: “get a passport, book a one-way flight to London, then go to an address in New York to pick up a package before heading to the airport. Aunt Peg also lists specific rules: “Take only what fits in a backpack. Leave credit cards, money, camera, cell phone, and laptop at home, and have no contact by electronic means from Europe with anyone in America.”  It seems unbelievable that anyone would agree to these terms, but Ginny does and is soon on her way to london with a package from New York that contains 12 more letters of instructions.

     For a teen realistic fiction, I was rather disappointed in 13 little blue envelopes. It was funny, there was an interesting story line; traveling through Europe to find out what actually happened to her healthy quirky aunt, and the description of each setting was amazing, but what really bothered me was the lack of regard to Ginny’s mother. I know for a fact that my mother would never let me travel around the world on my own at age seventeen, but Ginny’s mother seems to have no problem with it. However, because of the unique storyline and events that happen throughout the book, anyone who has the soul of an adventurer will be swept away on a grand adventure in Europe with Ginny.

      I would recommend this book to anyone who has a sense of adventure and is twelve years or older because of the various encounters with different types of people, that impacts Ginny’s life and the people around her for the better and the worse. Something I enjoyed and appreciated about this book was the theme. The theme was that we should make the most out of everything. Even if you have to try new things, you should experience them to improve your understanding of the world around you. Ginny’s aunt wanted her to go on these tasks so she could get out in the world and be a part of new things, and she did. If it wasn’t for her aunt, Ginny Blackstone wouldn’t have traveled the world the way she did, interpreted the sights she saw and eaten the foods she ate the way she normally had. Virginia wouldn’t have changed and wouldn’t have learned to come out of her shy shell.