Monday, May 7, 2012

Book Review: 13 Hangmen by Art Corriveau

Title: 13 Hangmen
Author: Art Corriveau
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2012


“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 after he moves, unexpectedly, to 13 Hangmen’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 13-year-old boys, all of whom are 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.


Tony DiMarco is not sure if it is a blessing or a curse that he inherited number 13 Hangman’s Court. Tony loves solving mysteries, and dreams of growing up to be a detective.  When he discovers a mystery, it is up to Tony to solve it. He is not going to be able to do it on his own, because this mystery goes decades in history. He has some help from the girl who works in the Curiosity Shop, but it is going to take more than that. Lucky for Tony, he does not have to solve it alone.

Tony has a group of friends his age to help him decipher events in the past that lead to the mystery in the present. Only Tony can see them, because they are all living in the same bedroom, but at different points in time. Each 13-year-old boy lends a key to the mystery and story surrounding 13 Hangmen’s Court. There is a lot of numerology in this book, with the numbers 9 and 13. Each boy can only see one another after their 13th birthday. In addition, Tony himself inherits his uncle’s house number 13 Hangmen’s Court on his 13th birthday.

The book delves into history, and how each historical event is connected to another. It is entertaining, but some of the events and people used are fictional or actual historical events were moved and changed to fit the story. This did not bother me, because I do not know a lot about the history of Boston, where the story takes place. I mean obviously, there are famous historic people and events that stand out in American History, which I liked. For any confusion on what actually happened and what was fictional for the book, the author explains it all at the end of the book.

I love history, so this book was a fun read. This book is geared more towards a middle grade or very early teen audience, and it would be more popular with teenagers of the male persuasion. This is simply because the main characters are all 13-year-old boys. The book does feature multiple viewpoints as each of the characters from the past get to tell their own story. It is a fun, quick read and I would defiantly give as a gift to any of the younger male family members.

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review**

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