Amanda and Leo were born on the same day. Each year, the two celebrated their birthday together. They were the best of friends. That is, until the big fight. On their 10th birthday, Amanda overheard Leo telling his guy friends that the only reason he hung around Amanda was that he felt sorry for her.
Amanda was crushed. She and Leo didn't talk for a full year. It looked like their 11th birthday was going to be celebrated apart and it was... sort of... In fact, for Amanda and Leo the day of their 11th birthday just kept repeating and repeating.
11 Birthdays is a bit like the movie Groundhog Day. The characters keep repeating the day until they finally figure out the clue. For Amanda and Leo, they have to find the connection between their dilemma and a curse.
Amanda is excited to turn 11, though less so than she'd normally be since it's the first year she won't be having a joint party with her former best friend, Leo. They had a falling out when they turned 10 and she overheard him saying that he didn't like her anymore to his friends. Little does she know that he regrets saying that, though she's about to learn as the two of them are doomed to repeat their birthday again, and again, and again. Amanda quickly grows tired of waking … more
*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