I find that choosing my top favorite books is an impossible task that becomes more impossible with nearly every book I read. But one book that definitely belongs in my top favorites list is 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, which was published by HarperTeen in 2005 This is a downright hilarious story about how a shy girl travels all over Europe as per the instructions left in 13 little blue envelopes sent from her runaway aunt.
The last thing shy, awkward Ginny expects to do is travel all over Europe, but that changes when she receives 13 little blue envelopes which hold various instructions sent by her recently deceased aunt. Ginny always felt more interesting around Aunt Peg, so she soon finds herself opening the envelopes one by one and completing the unusual task each letter demands.
Ginny soon finds her traveling from England to Italy to Denmark and meeting an assortment of characters, from a starving artist who writes plays about coffee to the ultimate touring family to an environmentally friendly Viking folk artist, just to name a few. As Ginny travels, she learns more about herself, and her aunt, than she ever thought possible. This is a perfect story for anyone who loves travel and humor.
Book Group Questions
- Ginny and Aunt Peg have two very different personalities, but they both traveled the same course throughout Europe. How do you think these travels affected them differently and why?
- Why do you think Ginny followed the instructions to go on a crazy trip as detailed by the letters. Why do you think she always felt more interesting when she was around her aunt?
- Ginny never really thought of her aunt as deceased until the end of the story. Why do you think she maintained this idea? How did accepting the reality of the situation change her afterwards?
- Would you have gone on this wild adventure? Would you follow every instruction given in the envelopes?
If you loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes, then check out the sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope.