My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir

My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir

by Samantha Abeel

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir by Samantha Abeel

In this beautiful and chilling memoir, twenty-five-year-old Samantha Abeel describes her struggles with a math-related learning disability, and how it forced her to find inner strength and courage.

Samantha Abeel couldn't tell time, remember her locker combination, or count out change at a checkout counter -- and she was in seventh grade. For a straight-A student like Samantha, problems like these made no sense. She dreaded school, and began having anxiety attacks. In her thirteenth winter, she found the courage to confront her problems -- and was diagnosed with a learning disability. Slowly, Samantha's life began to change again. She discovered that she was stronger than she'd ever thought possible -- and that sometimes, when things look bleakest, hope is closer than you think.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439339056
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/01/2005
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 261,469
Product dimensions: 4.60(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Samantha Abeel was a gifted child who excelled at language arts, yet she often had trouble with seemingly simple math problems. In her seventh-grade creative writing class, Samantha found refuge from the endless classes focused on math, measurements and algebra. When her parents enlisted the aid of an English teacher to help Samantha focus on her strength by creating writing assignments to be critiqued, she began the project that would become her first book, Reach for the Moon.

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My Thirteenth Winter 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
LeanneS7A More than 1 year ago
My Thirteenth Winter by Samantha Abeel is an inspiring memoir about a girl who goes through the struggles of having a learning disability. Sam was a great student in school, until she starts to have problems in some of the major subjects like math, she has problems computing the math problems, Sam also had trouble with telling time and telling a part different colors. Her mom always sticks by her and goes through all of the steps of learning how to live with her disability. Samantha writes how in the beginning, she was able to cope with the feeling of being "dumb" and a "failure", but when she comes across some great experiences and some accomplishments she feels like a winner. I would give Samantha Abeel's My Thirteenth Winter four out of five stars because she did an amazing job in capturing her feeling's and her struggles with her learning disabilities. My Thirteenth Winter won an Schneider Family Book award. Her book would probably be best for people ages ten and up, because some younger children might not get what is going on during some of the book, like how Sam feels, also when she can't tell time and how she feels when everyone that was in her class can tell the time easier then her. My Thirteenth Winter helped me understand what a learning disability was and how it not only affects the person who has it but also the people around them. I never understood how hard it was to have a learning disability until I read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The autobiography titled My Thirteenth Winter by Samantha Abeel is a very good book. From the book I learned that just because sometime in your life something doesn't go well, you should always be determined. For example, in the book, Samantha had a learning disability that stopped her from doing many things, but she still got everything that she wanted accomplished in her life. I also liked how when Samantha experienced her disability, she didn't give up and like I said earlier, she stayed determined. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good life- changing book. Not only was this memoir good but a little over halfway into the book, Samantha wrote a book within this book  that explained how her disability did not only stop her from doing things here and there, but it was more like a human stop sign; however, later in her life she realized that she could conquer many things. I highly recommend this book to many people and I would gladly give it five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the memoir My Thirteenth Winter by Samantha Abeel. The book had a very nice flow to it; the speed was kept constant, yet it still had parts where it left you hanging or wondering what was going to happen next. It was also very descriptive of how she felt, and how this learning disability affected her. There was no part of this book that I personally disliked, yet I did feel that the ending started to get long. I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy learning about other lives and also for people who enjoy reading emotional, in depth books. All and all, I thought the book was fantastic, and I very much enjoyed reading this for my project. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
  Imagine not being able to tell time, remember sequence of numbers, or count out change.  That is exactly Samantha Abeel’s life and she is only in the seventh grade.  For a  straight-A student like Samantha, these problems didn't make any sense to her.   She started to hate school, and began having anxiety attacks. In her thirteenth winter, she found the courage to confront her problems and tell her friends and family what was going on.  She was diagnosed with a learning disability, dyscalculia. Slowly, Samantha's life began to change again. She discovered that she was stronger than she'd ever thought possible and that sometimes, when things look gloomy, hope is closer than you think.  I enjoyed the book because it had a good overall message and it has a good story line.  I would  recommend this book to anyone.  It can help anyone understand that there is more to disability than you think. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book My Thirteenth Winter is a book I think anyone would enjoy because Samantha is just a girl with a learning disability. I think anyone could learn from  what she experienced. I enjoyed this book because it was very touching and great book. My Thirteenth Winter is about a girl named Samantha. She is not like a  normal girl; she is different. She has a learning disability, dyslexia. Samantha has a very hard time in school because she can’t learn like all the other kids. She  thinks she is dumb and can’t learn anything, but that’s not it at all. She loses most of her friends when she becomes a teenager because she feels like she is going to get sick all the time. She escapes all her worries when she writes. Writing gives her a great feeling; she even wrote a book when she was thirteen! This book is a very good book! I think you should read the book to see what happens to Samantha.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imagine not being able to read or write or learn. Having trouble processing math and number and words. This is how Samantha Abeel felt when she was younger.  When Samantha Abeel was a young girl she had a disease called dyslexia which makes it hard to read and write. As a child she was having a hard time reading and writing during school so she was behind all the grades. She was reading at a younger age level and she had a hard time processing for math. The authors theme was that no matter what you have as a disability you can still get far in life.  I enjoyed this book because I had a lot of action and a lot of suspense. I recommend this book for teens and young adult/
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am working on my Master's in Elementary Education and we were required to choose a book from a small selection. I highly recommend it and already have two other people I know that are going to borrow it!
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anaeday More than 1 year ago
My Thirteenth Winter captures Samantha Abeel's life with a learning disability. Throughout this memoir, she expertly lays out the details of her trials and errors from an early age, following her life into young adulthood. You deffinitely don't need to have a learning disability to relate to this book. Abeel sheds light on troubles we all go through, no matter your age. All in all, this is a great read.
JadeC7B More than 1 year ago
If you were growing up with strait A's and then one year you just don't understand most of the stuff that the teachers are teaching you what would you do? How does a strait A student have a learning disability? My Thirteenth Winter is a book about a girl who was growing up with a normal life until her thirteenth winter. Her name is Samantha and she first noticed that she had a learning disability during her thirteenth winter. Samantha is a strait A student so the doctor doesn't know how she could get a learning disability. When she is in seventh grade she can't do most things that other students do, like count change. After a while she stops talking to her friends and her family starts to get worried about her. My favorite part of the book is when she was in Kindergarten and her teacher was asking the kids what words they know that start with the letter N. The teacher calls on Samantha and she says "Neumonia" and her teacher said that pneumonia starts with a P. My Thirteenth Winter is a good book for teens and adults. This book shows that some things happen when people least expects them to, and things happen to people that you would least expect them to happen to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿It was like my life had become a movie and I was watching it fall apart, but I was powerless to do anything about it.¿ Did you ever think that you would hear this from a thirteen-year-old teenage girl? It was after Samantha found out that her fear of getting sick began to take over and increasingly get in her way. She noticed that her stomach felt a little weird when she was in elementary school and she would get stomachaches that bothered her everyday. Her stomachaches grew worse as time passed, and she worried about everything that she shouldn¿t be worrying about. Samantha Abeel has a learning disability and has trouble understanding basic math concepts. She was a ¿good¿ student in elementary school, who had a good attitude and achieved high writing scores. In middle school, her math teachers couldn¿t understand why a ¿good¿ student like Samantha would be having so much trouble understanding basic math concepts. Samantha has trouble explaining why she is struggling to her math teacher as to why she is struggling. She was ¿afraid¿, she was afraid that everyone would laugh at her I enjoyed this book because I like the way she expresses her feelings. I feel badly for her because she always doubts herself down and thinks that she can¿t do as well as other people. She doesn¿t like to be embarrassed. ¿I would rather not have any friends at all than risk getting sick and losing control in front of them.¿ This is what she thinks about her illness. ¿Every invitation seems like just another opportunity to get sick and embarrass myself.¿ She¿s afraid to tell her friends why she has to leave early and she¿s sick of making excuses and disappointing her friends. My favorite part was her poem. Samantha¿s poems are different than others and I think it¿s special. Her poems describe outside of the object or person and inside, way person thinks. One of my favorite poems is about a turtle. The way she describes the turtle¿s thoughts, what he¿s doing, and the environment around her was really unbelievable, especially for a teenager. Also I was touched by the relationship between Samantha and her mom. Her mom was always worried about her and would cry everyday. She really felt badly about her daughter having a hard time at school, math problems, and her stomachache. It was like she¿s being hurt by her daughter¿s pain. I felt very sorry for her mom. By reading this book I realized how lucky I am to be normal and healthy. I think everyone can enjoy this book, because it¿s really touching and heartwarming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Samantha Abeel, thank you so much for writing this book!!! Most pages sound just like me.... It's nice to know that I'm not alone in my feelings and thoughts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am so impressed by this book. I strongly recommend to everyone! It is an easy read that is someitmes witty and other times poinient. It left an impact on me. I feel that everyone will benefit from this open and impressive book that provides a first hand explanation of discalcula, a learning disability that many know little or nothing about. It also points out that it is possible for one to be both gifted and LD. This book offers hope and insight. Buy this. Read it. Share it with friends and family and then give it to your child's teacher to share and pass around. Or donate it to your town or school library! This book should never sit on a shelf getting dusty. It would be a great choice for a literary club. It is appropriate for people who are age 10 to 100. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mom told me about this book and she ordered it for me. I read it and loved it. I can relate to Samantha Abeel. it's given me a bust of confidence. I'll be able to succeed and make it through college. If Samantha did it i can to, despite our/my learning differences. I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO TEACHERS AND THOSE W/ LDs,IN FACT EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS SINCE IT DOES GIVE the READER a FEEL OF WHAT individuals with LDs go through.