Friday, August 24, 2012


A review of 13 Hangmen by Art Corriveau from Mr. B at the Grandview Branch of GPL.

Here’s a novel about baseball, time travel, murder, and history. Oh, and not just regular Dan Gutman baseball and trading card time travel, but the kind based on the theory that all of life past and present is happening all at once in parallel universes. The events at 13 Hangmen Court, Boston, are triggered by the death of amateur detective Tony’s great uncle, Zio Angelo. As his 13th birthday approaches, Tony inherits Zio Angelo’s 200 year old decaying house with the stipulation he sleep in Zio Angelo’s old bedroom. The room, Tony discovers, is a portal to parallel universes.

As 13-year-old boys appear and disappear, it becomes apparent to Tony that all the boys are living in the room at the same time, but in their own universes. The 13-year old boys include Tony; his great-uncle Zio Angelo who at 13 is friends with rookie Red Sox player Ted Williams; a run-away slave on the Underground Railroad; Paul Revere’s silversmith apprentice, and others. Together, as the portal allows, they solve a 200 year old mystery, save the house from demolition by the health and safety department, and solve the murder of Zio Angelo.

This well written, well researched, multi-leveled historical adventure may not be for every 13-year-old, but those willing to tackle it will not be disappointed. Maybe someone will send a copy to Tim Burton – it’s ripe for a film version. 

For readers in grades 6th- and older.   

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