11 BIRTHDAYS by Wendy Mass

11 BIRTHDAYS

From the "Willow Falls" series, volume 1
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this slow-paced middle-school friendship saga, mildly spiced with a bit of fantasy, readers meet Amanda and Leo, best friends who have spent every birthday together since day one. That is, until their tenth birthday party, at which Amanda happens to overhear Leo talking her down to some classmates. In an extreme overreaction, she flees the party and cuts Leo out of her life. Implausibly, Amanda’s grudge endures for an entire year, and she finds herself, stubborn and miserable, celebrating her 11th birthday alone. She muddles through a rotten day only to discover that she has to relive it, literally, over and over. When Amanda learns that Leo is likewise stuck, the former friends join forces, learning that dramatic consequences result from their smallest actions and discovering, in a somewhat contrived conclusion, what an old feud, an enchantment and the apple grove long since replaced by the town mall have to do with their extraordinary friendship. The commendable focus on a boy/girl friendship is somewhat offset by the flatness of the individual characters, particularly Leo. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-05239-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2008




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