143 pages
ISBN 0-88984-232-9
DDC jC813'.6




Reviewed by Laura M. Robinson

Laura M. Robinson is assistant professor of English, specializing in
children’s literature, at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.


In this disturbing novel for young adults, 18-year-old Marnie looks back
at her troubled life as a 13-year-old in the 1980s. The young teen
worships John Lennon, but hates everything about her life. And no
wonder. Marnie is unpopular, her friend Caroline is assaulted, and
Marnie herself is sexually assaulted by her teacher, Mr. Bennet. By the
end of the novel, there is not much release from the anguish: Marnie is
still deeply unhappy, and John Lennon has been killed.

13 is a compelling read, but I wonder what effect the story might have
on a troubled adolescent, especially since it does not offer much hope.
Further, the fact that Marnie’s abuser rescues her from running away
at the bus stop sends a disturbing message. Nonetheless, 13 is


Zeitoun, Mary-Lou., “13,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/23600.