The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley


Noah Bradley knows he must not grow attached to any place to which he and his family move. It’s only a matter of months before the first signs appear that they’ve been traced and the curse on his family continues. There may be foxes in the garden, a black cat, or the first of a blackbird storm, sent from the North Star. So when The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley offers everything for which Noah has ever wanted, from friends, to his mother’s happiness, he overlooks the signs of the Bradley family curse.

When disaster strikes, Noah fears it’s too late. However, amongst the debris emerges Neena, the girl across the road. Although he’s intrigued by Neena’s individuality, Noah has diminished her to stay close to a popular school crowd. However, Neena becomes a trusted confidante, who, because of her own family issues, is quick to support Noah and his little brother Bradley. Thereafter, they create a plan to head off the stranger with a keen interest in Noah’s branch of the family. Could Noah, Billy and Neena locate a third strand, somebody who seems to want to reunite the four points of the Bradley ‘compass’ and seek a resolution for this age- old curse? What will it take?

The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley is like a real life story with a character who is so familiar, set within a maelstrom of mythology and fantasy. This title is truly engrossing. We are fascinated by the history and current situation of the Bradley family. Furthermore, we understand the exhaustion of the family members, who wonder how it ‘is right to be cursed for something [their] ancestors did?’ Do Noah, or any of his relatives hold the power to right the past in their hands?

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The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley

Amber Lee Dodd


The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley could be the worst, but starts out the best for Noah. He cannot put down roots because the Bradley family curse means that ‘the birds of the north‘ will ‘bring misfortune’ wherever the family settles. Therefore Noah travels light and fits in easily. Although he’s intrigued by the individuality of the girl across the road, he joins in with the mocking of her by the popular boys in their class. Though he’d prefer an afternoon searching for buried treasure, he agrees to racing bikes, because that’s what Jackson wants.
There’s more though, for how can Noah protect Billy from the curse while Dad’s away, if he doesn’t pay heed to the appearance of the black cat, or the first attack of birds? He’s at risk of putting the family in danger. Then, what if the challenge grows, so that other unknown branches of the Bradley family appear, with hopes of some sort of reconciliation, or to wreak total disaster?
It’s hard to pigeon-hole this outstanding chapter book. There are elements of fantasy alongside a sense of the mythological. However, Amber Lee Dodd has created such an endearing, real hero in Noah. Therefore, we care about him, his family and relationships, and need a resolution. I was swept along by Lightning Chase Me Home but was completely deluged by The Thirteenth Home of Noah Bradley. What a sensitive, hearty, engrossing story!


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