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11 Birthdays

by Wendy Mass

Series: Willow Falls (1)

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1,6187011,083 (3.93)15
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.… (more)

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11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass is a story about Amanda and Leo, who were born on the same day and have always celebrated their birthdays together. However, after a falling out on their tenth birthday, they find themselves stuck in a loop, waking up to the same day repeatedly until they can resolve their differences and get it right. ( )
  Irina79 | Jun 6, 2024 |
{My thoughts} – Amanda and Leo were born on the same day. On that day in the hospital a woman approached their parents asking which babies were theirs and then going on about it being a special day. When their first birthday came around that same woman had manipulated things so that the two babies would have to have their first birthday parties together. Ever since that day they had combined birthday parties every year.

This year however, for their eleventh birthday they are having separate parties, because at their tenth birthday party Leo had said something they really hurt Amanda’s feelings. She ended up leaving the party early and they hadn’t talked for an entire year.

At eleven, I don’t think I could have ever stopped talking to my best friend for that long. However, these two seemed to have managed. Something goes terribly wrong that night though. They go to bed and wake up to their alarm clock the next morning. The problem with them waking up to their alarm the next morning is because it’s their birthday again. It would appear that they are doomed to repeat their eleventh birthday until they are able to figure out what is causing them to repeat the same day over and over again.

I really enjoyed this book. It gave me a kind of Groundhog’s Day kind of feel and it kept me thinking and wondering why the day was repeating over and over and if maybe I could figure out before the end of the book how to end it. I really like books like this and plan to continue reading through the series.

I think this book would make a great gift for any child on or around their eleventh birthday. It’s a fun read and its got a bit of mystery to go with it. ( )
  Zapkode | Jun 1, 2024 |
Amanda Ellerby and Leo Fitzgerald were born in Willow Falls on the same day, and have shared their birthday ever since. But after Amanda overhears Leo talking to his friends at their 10th birthday, the two stop speaking, and they haven't made up by their 11th birthday, so for the first time, they have two separate parties.

But when Amanda wakes up the day after her eleventh birthday, it isn't. Instead, she has to relive the whole day again...and again...and again. After five days, she realizes Leo is stuck in a loop too, and they begin to work together to figure out what is going on and how to stop it. It has something to do with an old family feud and a little old lady with a duck-shaped birthmark.

This Groundhog Day-style story (see also: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (YA)) is a middle grade delight, as Amanda and Leo make small and large changes in the way their go through their day.


It strikes me how differently the same day can go, depending on my choices. (95)

"Nothing nice you ever do for anyone is for no reason. Didn't helping others feel good?" (Angelina to Amanda, 240) ( )
  JennyArch | Jun 26, 2023 |
Amanda and Leo were born on the same day. They were actually born at the very same hospital! After they shared an accidental first birthday party, the two celebrated all of their birthdays with each other until and became best friends. Amanda and Leo did everything together until their tenth birthday. Their party came with some drama, and Amanda vowed she was never speaking to Leo again after the way he embarrassed her. She hasn’t spoken to him for a whole year, and now that their birthday is here, she can’t help wonder who will show up at her party, and who will be at Leo’s. From the start, her 11th birthday is a bit of a disaster—she has a pop quiz she wasn’t prepared for, her gymnastics try out is terrible, and then her party is even worse. She doesn’t like the “costume” theme her mom planned, especially because her outfit is uncomfortable and her shoes pinch her feet giving her blisters. Plus, almost everyone is at Leo’s amazing party. Amanda can’t wait to go to bed and have her birthday be over and done. Only when she wakes up it’s her 11th birthday again. And each day it keeps happening- no matter what she does to change things. It isn’t long before Amanda and Leo realize they are the only ones reliving this day with “memories of what happened before”. Now they have to figure out how to get to Saturday, the day after their birthday. Can they figure out what to do? Is there any way to get things back on track? What would make for the best 11th birthday? You’ll have to read this realistic fantasy fiction book to find out.

I have read other books by Wendy Mass, but 11 Birthdays is my favorite book by her so far. Amanda and Leo seem like very realistic kids, and I enjoyed seeing the different ways their birthday played out. It gave me a lot to think about. What would I do if I could relive the same day over and over again? Would I do anything wild to see what would happen? Or would I try to do everything okay and by the rules so I would be able to deal with things the next day if it ever came? I like the stories of friendship and the different turns of events because it showed how all of our actions ripple out— even in ways we do not see. Change one thing about your day and there will be surprise impacts from that act all day (especially if you know how the day went originally). I would recommend this book to anyone in fourth grade and up who enjoy books about friendship and a little bit of magic. I noticed this is the first book in the Willow Falls series. I look forward to checking out the rest. ( )
  Robinsonstef | Jan 21, 2022 |
Children's fiction/audio. It's really difficult to pull off this kind of "groundhog day" story without wearing it out. The author does ok with it, considering the mediocre plotline. ( )
1 vote reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
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The oddest thing about Angelina D'Angelo was that no one could remember a time when she didn't live in Willow Falls. The oldest man in town, Bucky Whitehead, swears Angelina was an old lady when HE was a boy. But, when questioned, Angelina just smiled.
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After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.

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