13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Ginny Blackstone has never thought of herself as a very interesting person.  She always counted on her Aunt Peggy to bring excitement and adventure to her life.  Now that Aunt Peggy is dead, Ginny figures she will just go back to her old, boring self.  That is, until the package of little blue envelopes arrives.  The first one has $1000 cash and instructions for Ginny to head off to Europe.  There are some pretty strict rules she is supposed to follow — like opening the rest of the envelopes in the order of the numbers on front, waiting until after the task from one envelope is complete before opening the next, bringing nothing more than a backpack to carry everything she will need, and NOT to include guide books or maps.  Ginny is even instructed to avoid all electronic contact with the people back home in America, although hand-written letters are OK.  Many teens would not have the self-control and discipline required to follow all of these rules, but Aunt Peg was confident that Ginny would do as she was told.

Ginny starts off worried that she will never be able to follow through with it all, but Aunt Peggy clearly knew what she was doing.  Ginny is slowly pushed past her comfort zone and, bit-by-bit, learns that she is capable of much more than she had previously given herself credit.  After having recently traveled by myself for the first time, I could easily relate to Ginny’s anxiety and found that I enjoyed the story all the more for it.  The only down side to this story is that it made me wish I had a crazy aunt who would leave some little blue envelopes for me!

Happy Reading!


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