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13 Little Blue Envelopes

Published by HarperCollins, September 2005

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NEWS: The Last Little Blue Envelope, the sequel, coming in spring 2011!


Here’s the deal: Aunt Peg, the New York artist and the person Ginny Blackstone depended on to make her life interesting, took off to Europe without a word three years ago. Aside from a few postcards, Ginny hasn’t heard much. Then she gets a horrible phone call that changes everything.

But the story is only beginning. Soon after, Ginny receives one little blue envelope from Aunt Peg containing a thousand dollars and some very strange instructions…

And with that, she is sent off to pick up a package containing twelve similar envelopes, which she can open one by one, as instructed. Each letter contains a task that Ginny must perform.

Soon, the mild-mannered and quiet Ginny (who’s barely made it out of New Jersey before) finds herself running from London to Paris to Rome, and beyond. Along the way, she collects a number of new friends, including: a manager from Harrods department store who runs errands for the rich and famous, a handsome but maddening thief-turned-playwright, a celebrity painter who tattoos the names of her dead pets on her body, and the angriest vegetable salesman in all of France.

As time goes on, Ginny realizes that her aunt has sent her on a mission, and that there is something big waiting for her in the thirteenth envelope. All she has to do is make it from place to place and complete all of the tasks that have been set before her.

As if life is that easy.

ALA Teens’ Top Ten 2006
ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2005
New York Public Library
“Books for the Teen Age 2006”
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2005
Fall 2005 Book Sense Pick
Tayshas 2006-2007 Book List
Finalist: 2008 Abraham Lincoln Illinois
High School Book Award
Florida 2007-2008 Teens Read List
International Reading Association
Young Adults’ Choices 2007
“Equal parts poignant, funny, and inspiring.”
- Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Johnson’s writing is sophisticated and humorous, her characterizations pitch perfect … A sure hit with fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”
Kirkus Reviews