13 Little Blue Envelopes Summary & Study Guide

Maureen Johnson
This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of 13 Little Blue Envelopes.
This section contains 498 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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13 Little Blue Envelopes Summary & Study Guide Description

13 Little Blue Envelopes Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson is a story about a shy, young, seventeen-year old girl named Virginia (Ginny) Blackstone who embarks on a European adventure of a lifetime. It is a trip that could be called a treasure hunt with a twist. Ginny is given a series of instructions which are sealed in thirteen separate envelopes.

Each envelope contains a destination, a series of tasks, or the name and address of someone that Ginny must approach by herself. It begins with a simple trip to New York where at the 4th Street Noodle Penthouse - the last known address of her Aunt Peg - Ginny has been instructed to pick up something that has been left for her. On arrival, she is given a series of envelopes. To be fair, she has had a bit of preparation. Peg instructed her to bring all that she needs to travel excepting what most normal people would bring. Her instructions are rather explicit. She is to pack only what she can easily carry, ignore all guidebooks and maps, and contact no one from the U.S. after she has left. Though unnerving, and out of character for Ginny, Aunt Peg is her favorite Aunt and Ginny remembers every visit with her as an adventure. Therefore, when Peg tells her to get on a plane to London and look up a friend of hers (address provided), Ginny is nervous, but willing to play along.

Thus begins a wild ride through multiple countries to meet a variety of characters that becomes a journey of self-discovery. Ginny discovers Harrods in London - a place she will return to many times; meets famous painter/artist Mari Adams in Edinburgh who inks a temporary tattoo on her shoulder; gives offerings to the Vestal Virgins in the Roman Colosseum; checks out the masters at the Louvre in Paris; sees the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; watches the midnight sun in Denmark on a houseboat in the middle of nowhere; and swims in the oceans of Greece. She will fall in love; discover that she has a new relative; have everything she owns stolen requiring a call to London for rescue; and discover that there are many kinds of wealth in the process.

All of these adventures begin with a letter and directions; a bank card from London with five hundred pounds at her disposal, and a request that she open the letters in order - only after having completed the tasks or arrived at the destination in the previous one. Not only does Ginny take up the challenge and play by the rules, but she does it all at the behest of her favorite aunt Peg who died of a brain tumor three months previous to her initial departure, and whom she hadn't had contact with in more than a year. The book is a fast-paced experience with never a dull moment that could give anyone the desire to break out of the box!

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