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Children's Fiction Europe

The Thirteenth Summer

by (author) Jose Luis Olaizola

translated by Susan Ouriou

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1993
Europe, Coming of Age, Europe, Parents
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 1993
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 7 to 12


Runner-up for the John Glassco Literary Translation Prize

This lesurely coming-of-age novel won Spain's Ateneo de Sevilla Award for Fiction in 1976.

Set in the coastal city of San Sebastian during the summer of 1942, this evocative tale of a young boy trying to make sense of the adult world is beautifully written. Planicio's mother is dead and his father Pachi spends most of his time (and money) gambling. Father and son are often hungry. When Pachi is offered a job taking Don Ramon, a dying invalid, for walks in his wheelchair, Planicio grows to love this man, the first adult to really pay attention to him since his mother died. Their relationship is quite moving and a real highlight of the novel.

About the authors

Jose Luis Olaizola's profile page

Susan Ouriou is an award-winning literary translator who has translated the fiction of Quebec, Latin-American, French and Spanish authors. She won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation in 2009 for Pieces of Me by Charlotte Gingras, after first being shortlisted for The Road to Chlifa by Michèle Marineau and then for Necessary Betrayals by Guillaume Vigneault. The Road to Chlifa was also awarded an honour list placing by IBBY (International Board of Books for Youth) as were Naomi and Mrs. Lumbago by Gilles Tibo, This Side of the Sky by Marie-Francine Hébert and Pieces of Me. Necessary Betrayals was also voted one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Globe and Mail. Another translation, The Thirteenth Summer by José Luis Olaizola, was runner-up for the John Glassco Translation Prize. She has worked as the director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and as faculty for the Banff Centre's Aboriginal Emerging Writers residency. She is the editor of the 2010 anthology Beyond Words – Translating the World.

Susan Ouriou's profile page

Other titles by Susan Ouriou