Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Johnson, Maureen. 
New York : HarperCollins, 2005
ISBN 0060541415

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Props needed: Two blue air-mail envelopes.
Two note with the first and second letter (p. xxx)

I was going to ask you what was the "wildest" thing you'd ever done. But that's too easy. What's the wildest thing you've ever convinced your parents to let you do?

[Hold up the envelope]

There are 13 of these. Each one is written by a Ginny's Aunt Peg, who is, by the way, dead.

[Open the envelope]

[Read the first letter]

Ginny convinces her parents to let her do it. Go solo to Europe. I know. I know: Lots of people think this is kind of unrealistic; but I can put your hands on the true story of a teenage girl who talked her parents into letting her sail around the world ALONE.

[Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi, if anyone asks you: It's a great read.]

[Read the Second Letter]

And those, as you know, are just the first two envelopes. There are 11 more, each one giving Ginny a new command, each one taking her to a different part of the world, and each one a puzzle piece, revealing the secret truth about what happened to her Aunt Peg.

Where will the next envelope take Ginny? What will happen to her?

Pick up 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson, and let the adventure begin.

(Booktalk by Kirsten Edwards, King County Library System for the Evergreen Young Adult Book award, 2007-2008)

Booktalk #2

Booktalk #2

When Ginny receives a pack of mysterious envelopes from her favorite aunt, she leaves New Jersey to journey through Europe on a scavenger hunt. She is given several destinations and instructions to open one envelope upon her arrival at each place. Throughout her adventures, she collects pieces of her aunt's past and learns much about herself.  (Florida Teen Reads nominee, 2007-2008)

Booktalk #3

Seventeen-year-old Virginia “Ginny” Blackstone is used to her artistic Aunt Peg’s quirky lifestyle and flighty nature. But when Peg took off with no explanation or forwarding address--just a few postcards and notes now and then to say she’s all right, the family worried about her. Then, they receive the news that Aunt Peg has died of brain cancer, and Ginny receives a letter in a little blue envelope from Aunt Peg. In it, Peg asks Ginny to begin what amounts to sort of a scavenger hunt. Her first instructions are to take the enclosed $1000 and buy a passport, airline ticket from NY to London, and a backpack— leaving some extra to take a cab to the airport. Not only does her beloved, dead aunt want Ginny to go traipsing around Europe on her own, but she’s also placed rules on this crazy scavenger hunt. She can only take what will fit in one backpack, no guidebooks or foreign language aids, no extra money beyond what Peg provides, and no electronic devices to communicate electronically with anyone back in the U.S. “Postcards and letters are acceptable and encouraged.” In NY she is to go to the Chinese restaurant above her old apartment and pick up something left there for her. The package contains little blue envelopes numbered 2-13 that are to be opened consecutively and only after the task in each has been completed. Thus begins Ginny’s mission to attempt to understand her Aunt Peg by retracing Peg’s European journey, and perhaps learn something about herself, too. 13 Little Blue Envelopes, combining a little bit of action, a little bit mystery, and a little bit of romance is sure to please.   (Prepared by: Heather Loy, Media Specialist, Wagener-Salley High School for SCASL Young Adult Awards, 2008)

SUBJECTS:     Voyages and travels -- Fiction.
                        Letters -- Fiction.
                        Aunts -- Fiction.
                        Artists -- Fiction.
                        Grief -- Fiction.
                        Europe -- Fiction.

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