From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7 Rory Swenson just can't catch a break. She's been waiting for what seems like forever for her 12th birthday. According to her parents' rules, that is the magical age when she'll finally be able to partake in many formerly forbidden activities such as wearing contact lenses, getting a pet, owning a cell phone, piercing her ears, and staying home alone. Now that the day has finally come, she finds that growing up isn't as satisfying as she imagined. She's completely unprepared for the minor disasters that result: her new pet bunny seems homicidal staying home alone is scarier than she thought and her attempt at having her ears pierced reveals an allergy to gold. The only silver lining is her growing friendship with movie-star Jake Harrison, who is filming at her school. There's a nice twist at the end, when the many good deeds Rory has done without thinking of herself pay off, and she realizes that her misfortunes are minor. This novel pairs well with Mass's 11 Birthdays
(Scholastic, 2009), but it stands on its own. Children will relate to this warm, funny story of a heroine who can't wait to grow up. Madigan McGillicuddy, Los Angeles Public Library
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Rory has a list of things she longs to do when she turns 12: stay home alone, shave her legs, babysit, wear makeup, drink coffee . . . So overprotected that she has never ridden in the front seat of a car, Rory can’t wait for her birthday. But those long-anticipated experiences bring some disconcerting surprises. In this sequel to 11 Birthdays (2009), Amanda and Leo play minor roles and wise woman Angelina works her magic again. Rory’s lively first-person narrative clearly expresses her emotions as she seesaws between longing and fear, confidence and insecurity. The jacket photo will attract tween readers. Grades 4-7. --Carolyn Phelan