Children’s Book Review: 11 Birthdays

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass  weaves a tale of friendship and adventure, highlighting the joys and challenges of growing up.  Sweet on Books author Melissa Young tells us more:

What You Need to Know:
• 11 Birthdays is a terrific read!

• My nine year old daughter and her 8 year old best friend LOVED it (and so did I:).

• Wendy Mass has written a pile of books, all look better than the next! They have all been recommended to me by very different sources. My to-be-reviewed pile grows…

• It is realistic fiction with a twist – great alternative for kids who aren’t into all the fantasy fiction on the market. But the twist (time travel) is interesting enough and very believable.

• Mass has really nailed her characters and written them very honestly; I truly felt like I was in middle school again!

Summary:
Amanda and Leo have celebrated their birthdays together every year since they were born on the same day and in the same hospital. Until their tenth birthday. On that fateful birthday, Amanda overhears Leo diss the whole joint birthday party thing, trying to be “cool” in front of the other boys in the grade. This sets off a year-long stand-off between the two friends. When the morning of their 11th birthday dawns, Amanda is depressed. She moves through the motions, but without heart. Lots of things go wrong, and she goes to bed even more dejected, looking forward to the next day when her birthday will finally be over. However, she wakes up and it’s her birthday all over again! This happens again and again. A couple days in, Leo and Amanda realize it’s happening to both them. The answer lies in their family names and a feud that spans 100 years and a woman named Angelina, who appears and disappears at will, it seems.

Mass’ strength lies in the realistic story (time travel and all) she tells and and the very real characters she draws. Pre-teens and young teens alike, will see themselves in these characters and their struggles and likely relate it to their own lives.

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