13 Hangmen

( 2 )

Overview

Some people won’t believe any of this story. You might be one of them. But every single word is true. Tony DiMarco does catch a murderer, solve a mystery, and find a treasure—all in the first few days he moves, unexpectedly, to 13 Hangman’s Court in Boston. The fact that he also turns thirteen at the same time is not a coincidence.

So begins the story of Tony and his friends—five thirteen-year-old boys, all living in the same house in the same attic bedroom, but at different ...

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13 Hangmen

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Overview

Some people won’t believe any of this story. You might be one of them. But every single word is true. Tony DiMarco does catch a murderer, solve a mystery, and find a treasure—all in the first few days he moves, unexpectedly, to 13 Hangman’s Court in Boston. The fact that he also turns thirteen at the same time is not a coincidence.

So begins the story of Tony and his friends—five thirteen-year-old boys, all living in the same house in the same attic bedroom, but at different times in history! None are ghosts, all are flesh and blood, and somehow all have come together in the attic room, visible only to one another. And all are somehow linked to a murder, a mystery, and a treasure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Corriveau offers a fun and earnest tale of Boston history, time travel (of sorts), and dastardly doings that suffers from some inelegant storytelling decisions. Unassuming 13-year-old Tony DiMarco is always in the shadow of his older star athlete brothers. When his late uncle Angelo leaves his Boston house (at 13 Hangmen Court) to Tony (with the requirement that Tony sleep in his uncle’s attic bedroom), the family happily moves in. When Tony’s father is implicated in Uncle Angelo’s death, Tony investigates with help from his uncle (as a 13-year-old boy) and other 13-year-olds who lived in that room in the past. Corriveau (How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life ) ably uses the boys’ tales to weave historical elements into his story, including cameos from Ted Williams and Paul Revere (an afterword discusses the liberties the author took). But the primary tale and its message about diversity often lack subtlety, and the villain (apparent very early on) resorts to a multipage revelation of his scheme, Scooby Doo–style. History fans will still enjoy the tale, but may long for something more nuanced. Ages 8–12. Agent: Al Zuckerman, Writers House. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Allison Fetters
Tony DiMarco's thirteenth birthday goes from strange to utterly bizarre. First, he receives an old Red Sox ball cap from a distant, late relative, Zio Angelo. Shortly thereafter, his family learns that Zio Angelo willed his house on 13 Hangmen Court in Boston to Tony with the specific instructions that Tony must live in the attic and must not sell the house. Although the attic is creepy in the beginning, Tony soon learns the secret in the attic and how he is able to conjure his late uncle, when he was also 13 years old, to 2009 using the ball cap. Tony, a lover of mysteries, is soon in the middle of solving his own mystery in his uncle's bequest, the strange behavior of the neighbor, Mr. Hagmann, and the question of his uncle's true cause of death. From page one the reader is pulled into a fascinating trip through time. Will Tony gathers clues for the mystery to be solved and will he eventually save his family's new house? Reviewer: Allison Fetters
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Being 13 is strange enough, but Tony DiMarco is extra baffled when his great-uncle Angelo, whom he hardly knows, mails him legendary Red Sox player Ted Williams's original baseball cap on his 13th birthday, then promptly dies and bequeaths him an entire town house in Boston's North End. And that's just the beginning. A magic symbol in Tony's attic bedroom allows him to bend time and connect with his great-uncle as a 13-year-old… and with the boy who lived in the house before that… and before that. Before long, he's conjuring multiple generations of 13-year-olds, each from a different ethnic group reflecting a significant era in the North End's history. Together they must solve a mystery that spans the centuries, involving greed, blackmail, and murder. The fun is multi-layered, and the historical characters range from Ted Williams to Paul Revere to Mayor John "Honey" Fitzgerald, grandfather of JFK and early advocate of multiculturalism. The theme of tolerance among ethnic groups is recurring, but stops short of being didactic. This is an exceptionally good story, with a wry, humorous tone that has particular boy appeal. It covers baseball, history, sibling rivalry, girls, and mystery, and folds in the space-time continuum. An interesting addendum, entitled "What's Story, What's History," explains the historical basis for characters and events portrayed.—Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA
Kirkus Reviews
When Tony DiMarco's family moves from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Boston's North End, Tony finds himself in the middle of a mystery going back to the days of Paul Revere. Tony is about to turn 13 when the DiMarcos move into a town house at 13 Hangmen Court. His great-uncle, Zio Angelo, has died and left the house to the DiMarcos, oddly stipulating that Tony should get his attic bedroom. And it's in that attic room that Tony discovers a slate shelf above the bookcase with an odd spiral shape carved into its center, with a mysterious power to conjure people from the past. The novel's cover featuring a ghostly Red Sox player from the past suggests that this will be a baseball mystery, and readers may be disappointed when they realize it's not. Instead, it's a complex tale involving everything from Algonquin vision quests, Hermann Minkowski's "block universe" theory, the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, the Underground Railroad, gangsters, witch trials and Paul Revere. This abundance of historical detail is perhaps too weighty for the relatively modest mystery at the story's core. Readers who love history may look beyond the lure of the Red Sox mystery and find themselves happily immersed in the fascinating tale. Ghostly fun in old Boston. (historical note) (Fantasy. 9-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419701597
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 981,028
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Art Corriveau holds an MFA in writing from the University of Michigan. His writing has received great reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, and many others. Booklist praised How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog), his first middle-grade novel, for its “vividly drawn” characters. He lives in Vermont.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2013

    This book is so much fun. Everyone should read it, age doesn¿t m

    This book is so much fun. Everyone should read it, age doesn’t matter. There’s something in it for all ages and it makes you want to learn more about history. Corriveau does something brilliant with this book, he separates Tony’s story from the stories of the other boys who inhabited that room. You learn about each of them in their own time, which makes the connection between the reader and the characters even stronger. This story makes you think about all the little incidents in history that led to the big events we learn about in school. It makes you want to discover things, research, learn something. This is a great book for anyone interested in US history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    *First Review*

    I loved everything about this book it was awesome

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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