August 21, 2012

Getting unstuck

11 Birthdays
by Wendy Mass

Amanda and Leo were born on the same day. Ever since they accidentally celebrated their first birthday together (when their parents rent the same hall), they've been having joint birthday parties. Until they turn ten. That's when Amanda hears Leo telling some boys that she has no friends. She flees the party, not speaking to Leo for an entire year.

So for their eleventh birthday, they've planned separate parties. And Amanda's day goes very wrong. She doesn't make the gymnastics team, her mother gets fired, and all her friends leave her house early to attend Leo's much grander celebration. She's relieved when it's finally over, though shamed that she'll never live it down.

But then the reader and Amanda get a big surprise. The next day, she turns eleven again, with a repeat of the day's events. In fact, Amanda is going to turn eleven, eleven times. And so does Leo. As Amanda makes different choices on her do-over days, she begins to see how some actions are better, or worse, than others. But the main choice involves Leo. Not until they start talking again, join forces, forgive the past, and become best friends again does their curse lift. (hint: It involves a strange sort-of fairy godmother.)  

A fun take on Groundhog Day, with a much more meaningful twist.

No comments: