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11 Birthdays: A Wish Novel Paperback – January 1, 2010
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*Starred Review* Amanda and Leo, born on the same day, have celebrated their birthdays together for 10 years. Still feeling hurt from an unkind remark Leo made at last year’s party, Amanda spends her eleventh birthday without her now-estranged friend to share the fun. In the days that follow, both Amanda and Leo discover that they are caught in a time loop, waking up each morning to find themselves repeating their eleventh birthdays. They soon renew their friendship and begin to experiment by making different choices throughout the day, partly for the thrill of acting without long-term consequences and partly from their fear of never escaping this mysterious time trap. From the double-entendre title to the solid character portrayals to the clarity and wit of the writing, this novel offers a fresh twist on the familiar themes of middle-grade family and school dynamics. The mysterious power that rewinds time eventually seems less important than the power that Amanda finds within herself. Emboldened by the idea of daily do-overs, she discovers that small changes in her attitude and actions result in sometimes-subtle, sometimes-monumental shifts in results for herself, her family, and her friends. A rewarding choice for readers and a natural for booktalks and discussion groups. Grades 4-6. --Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Praise for 11 Birthdays
*"From the double-entendre title to the solid character portrayals to the clarity and wit of the writing, this novel offers a fresh twist on the familiar themes of middle-grade family and school dynamics." -Booklist, starred review
*"Mass's expertise with pacing keeps the story moving at a lively clip, and her understanding of this age group is as finely honed as ever." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
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Top Customer Reviews
Amanda and Leo have known each other forever. No, really. Their parents met in the Willow Falls Birthing Center the day that their kids were born. Exactly one year later, they all happened to be at the same place for their birthday parties. Leo offered Amanda his stuffed bear, and the two babies became friends. They celebrated their birthday together every year since. Then, during their tenth birthday party, Amanda overheard Leo say something that really hurt her, and they pretty much stopped speaking to each other.
Amanda's eleventh birthday isn't horrible, but the day doesn't exactly go according to plan, either. She gets talked into trying out for the school gymnastics team by her friend, then freezes up when she's supposed to do a back handspring. Her dad has a terrible cold. Her older sister Kylie seems preoccupied. In honor of her movie-themed birthday party, her mom got Amanda a Dorothy costume that's uncomfortable. With Leo having his own party at the same time, only half of the kids that were invited come to Amanda's house, and some leave early to go to Leo's place. Wearing an itchy dress and shoes that hurt her feet, Amanda's pretty miserable, but she doesn't really complain. As she crawls into bed that night, she's thankful for what she has - her family, her health, the upcoming weekend - and is grateful that the day is over.
Then she wakes up the next day - or what she thinks is the next day - only to discover it's Friday again! At first, she thinks her family is teasing her, but her sister's wearing the same outfit and her parents are insisting that she goes to school, so she goes with it. Almost everything that happened the previous day at school happens again, and the same things happen that night at her birthday party. Amanda's puzzled, to say the least, but sure that everything will go back to normal the next day.
Then the next day ends up being the same day again - and the next day - and the next! As she tries to figure out what's going on, she makes important discoveries and allies. Thanks in part to a mysterious and kind elderly woman with a duck-shaped birthmark, Amanda might finally get through the day and mend her broken friendship with Leo.
Once again, Wendy Mass captures a precious age without pretension, without making her characters too precocious. It's very nice to see a boy and a girl be just friends, without any romance involved or assumed. Throughout the story, Leo and Amanda act their age: they are stubborn, truthful to a fault, impulsive, even silly at times. This is a totally cute story that both kids and their parents will enjoy.
The idea behind the book has been done before and I’m sure it will be done again. Bill Murray waking up over and over in Groundhogs Day came to mind more than once while reading this. But don’t let that stop you from reading because this has lots of original content.
Content: A clean read. Appropriate for ages 8+ but probably enjoyed by 10+.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
This was my first Wendy Mass book and will not be the last. I highly recommend this cute read especially for those who are 11 or a bit younger. That doesn't mean older folks won't enjoy it because I'm not that young and I thought it was flippin' awesome.
Neither of them are excited at all. Amanda wakes up and finds that her dad is sick and her mom has an important meeting to go to.Happy birthday, huh? And it gets worse.
By the end of the day, Amanda can't wait for the next day.But there is just one problem. The next day IS her birthday. All over again!
This hilarious but sad adventure shows how two friends come together to somehow find out how this happened and maybe solve this glitch in time.In the process,they find out that the same thing happened to their great-great grand parents. I loved this story and recomend it to anyone that loves a touching story about two friends and their love for eachother.~Suzie Q.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the book because it's about friendship being mended in a magical kind a of way. And they are my age!!!