Sunday, March 29, 2009

11 Birthdays

Imagine getting the opportunity to relive one of the days of your life. A do-over, if you will. You could right wrongs, do something less embarrassing, or simply enjoy something for a second time. Would you do it if you could? Think about it.

For Amanda, it's her 11th birthday. A birthday should be fun, but there are somethings that are conspiring against Amanda. Firstly, she hasn't spoken to Leo since her last birthday. Amanda and Leo were born on the same day, were best friends and celebrated every birthday together...until this year. Secondly, her mom has planned a movie themed party for Amanda, and she is stuck in an itchy Dorothy dress complete with ill-fitting ruby slippers. And lastly, Amanda is trying out for cheer leading instead of marching band in an effort to appease her friend Stephanie and to try and up her cool quotient. Not surprisingly, Amanda is happy to see the back of her 11th birthday.

So, imagine her surprise when the Saturday after her birthday turns back into Friday again. Amanda is certain that her family is playing a joke on her ... convincing her to get dressed, have breakfast and even go outside and wait for the bus with her sister. But it's not a joke. The bus comes, she's forgotten her lunch again, and is sitting in her desk when the same pop quiz she took "yesterday" appears. Amanda is desperately trying to keep it together. Could "yesterday" have been an incredibly detailed dream? Could she be psychic?

Imagine her horror when the "next" day is her birthday AGAIN! Everybody around Amanda seems absolutely clueless that this day is repeating over and over. At least almost everybody is clueless...

Wendy Mass has written an interesting friendship and family story with a pinch of magical realism. Once readers really take a moment to think about it, reliving a day might seem empowering on the surface, but dig a little deeper and it's quite terrifying. 11 Birthdays is the kind of book that begs re-reading and discussion. I think that this is a perfect title for a book-club read.

7 comments:

KateMessner said...

I'm so glad you liked this one - I loved it, and it's one of my daughter's all-time favorites. I had actually bought her a copy to have signed because I knew I'd be at a writing conference with Wendy, but when it was time for me to leave, my daughter wouldn't part with the book. (She gave me just the jacket, which Wendy graciously signed!)

Sharon said...

Oooh...sounds good, and my library owns it. Yay!

Charlotte said...

It sounds fascinating....I will add it to the list.

tanya said...

I loved this book, and everything that Wendy Mass writes. I work at a book store and it is a perfect sell for kids/relatives who need a birthday present -especially for an 11 year old! Savvy by Ingrid Law is another great, similar kind of book.

tanya said...

I loved this book, and everything that Wendy Mass writes. I work at a book store and it is a perfect sell for kids/relatives who need a birthday present -especially for an 11 year old! Savvy by Ingrid Law is another great, similar kind of book.

Stacy Dillon said...

Hi Tanya: I loved Savvy as well...I have an early review up on Tweendom! I'm surprised that this title didn't get more buzz. I have yet to meet someone who didn't like 11 Birthdays.

Staci said...

sounds like a fun read!!