Thirteens by Kate Alice Marshall


Every thirteen years in the town of Eden Eld, three thirteen-year-olds disappear.

Eleanor has just moved to the quiet, prosperous Eden Eld. When she awakes to discover an ancient grandfather clock that she’s never seen before outside her new room, she’s sure her eyes must be playing tricks on her. But then she spots a large bird, staring at her as she boards the school bus. And a black dog with glowing red eyes follows her around town. All she wants is to be normal, and these are far from normal. And worse–no one else can see them.

Except for her new friends, Pip and Otto, who teach her a thing or two about surviving in Eden Eld. First: Don’t let the “wrong things” know you can see them. Second: Don’t speak of the wrong things to anyone else. 

The only other clue they have about these supernatural disturbances is a book of fairytales unlike any they’ve read before. It tells tales of the mysterious Mr. January, who struck a cursed deal with the town’s founders. Every thirteenth Halloween, he will take three of their children, who are never heard from again. It’s up to our trio to break the curse–because Eden Eld’s thirteen years are up. And Eleanor, Pip, and Otto are marked as his next sacrifice.


“Marshall’s paranormal middle-grade debut reads like an expanded, kid-friendly version of Ursula LeGuin’s The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (1973).”


"A fast-paced plot combined with the unsettling implications and logic of fairy tales ensures that this supernatural series starter will keep readers up at night."

Publishers Weekly

"An enthralling mystery beats at the heart of this middle grade fantasy."

School Library Journal

"Big reveals and ancient talking cats add appeal to this story that will scratch any young horror fan's itch for a riveting and spooky tale."

The Muse Project

“Readers beware! This book is a trap: once you start reading, you will not be able to stop. THIRTEENS is a deliciously creepy stay-up-all-night adventure that will shiver through you like a cold October wind. I loved every page!”

Jonathan Auxier, Bestselling author of The Night Gardener and Sweep

“Creepy, mysterious, and a whole lot of fun. THIRTEENS kept me up well past my bedtime. I can’t wait to see what happens next!”

Cassie Beasley, New York Times bestselling author of Circus Mirandus