11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass.
Scholastic Press: NY, 2009.

Amanda and Leo have shared their first 10 birthdays together. It's time for their 11th, but because of their year-long fight, they are celebrating separately for the first time. Amanda's having the worst day of her life. All she can think about is their rotten fight and how wrong it is that they haven't been friends. She's ready for the next day, so her worst birthday will be over. But the same tacky balloon startles her when she awakes. She thinks it's a bad joke, but no one else seems to be aware of the repeat. She relives the day trapped in the same horrible birthday only to do it all over again and again. As the days are relived, she starts to make changes in her day. Obviously, something needs to be fixed in order to move on. But what? There is so much to improve.

The chance to relive the day, though excruciating at first, gives Amanda time to see things that she hadn't noticed as she stewed the first time around. Little things that could be important to those around her. She finds she's not the only one stuck in the time warp. Leo is also, and they both are experimenting to find a solution.

This is a great book for middle graders. Funny in parts, thoughtful and touching in others. Quite an adventure. The kids seem older to me than 11-year-olds, but the story is enjoyable anyway.

related-birthdays, time, friendships, interpersonal relations

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