11 Birthdays

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Published by: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 1, 2009
Pages: 272
ISBN13: 978-0545052399

On their first birthday, they learned to walk. On their fifth, they planted seeds in handmade pots. On their tenth, they learned there are some words you can never take back.

Amanda’s eleventh birthday should have been a happy occasion. Instead she’s dressed in an itchy costume her mother picked out for her Hollywood-themed party (Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, even though the flying monkeys have always creeped her out). Meanwhile, across town, her ex-best friend Leo is celebrating their joint birthday with a huge bash including a hypnotist, a football star, a giant iguana, and a rock band. SO not fair!

Amanda can’t wait for the day AFTER her birthday so she can stop thinking about the fight that led to her and Leo having separate parties for the first time in their lives. There’s just one problem. The next day is her birthday all over again.

To hear some behind the scenes info on how 11 Birthday’s was written, along with a short reading, visit teachingbooks.net.

Reviews & Awards

“Like a Groundhog Day for middle grade readers, Mass's (Every Soul a Star) winning story features a girl seemingly trapped in her 11th birthday. Amanda seems doomed to relive her failed try-out for the gymnastics team, her mother being fired from her job and, worst of all, the party that even her best friend leaves early—to go to the party hosted by her former friend, Leo. The two have celebrated every previous birthday together (they were born on the same day), but a misunderstanding on their 10th has gone unresolved. Girls will relate to Amanda's insecurities, and the confidence and insights she gains will resonate with them. Mass's expertise with pacing keeps the story moving at a lively clip, and her understanding of this age group is as finely honed as ever.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“…From the double-entendre title to the solid character portrayals to the clarity and wit of the writing, this novel offers a fresh twist on the familiar themes of middle-grade family and school dynamics. The mysterious power that rewinds time eventually seems less important than the power that Amanda finds within herself. Emboldened by the idea of daily do-overs, she discovers that small changes in her attitude and actions result in sometimes-subtle, sometimes- monumental shifts in results for herself, her family, and her friends. A rewarding choice for readers and a natural for booktalks and discussion groups.”
ALA Booklist (Starred Review)

**WINNER** of the:

2013 Maud Hart Lovelace Award, Minnesota
2012 Alabama Camellia Children's Choice Book Award
2012 William Allen White Children's Book Award, Kansas

2012 Young Hoosier Award, Indiana

2012 Tennesee Volunteer State Book Award
2012 Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice award
2012 Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award
2012 Oregon Readers' Choice Award
2012 South Carolina Children's Book Award

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award, Vermont
2011 The 
Black Eyed Susan Award, Maryland
2011 Massachusetts Children's Book Award
 Northborough Southborough (MA) Children's Book Award
Thanks so much everyone who voted, I'm really honored!!

Nominated for:

  • Bluestem Award: Illinois’ Grades 3-5 Readers’ Choice Award
  • Washington State Sasquatch award
  • Mark Twain Award, Missouri
  • NYSRA Charlotte Award Reading List (New York)
  • Grand Canyon Reader Award, Arizona
  • Garden State Book Award (NJ)
  • Texas Bluebonnet Award (3rd place)
  • Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award, Illinois (2nd place)
  • Sunshine State Young Readers Award, Florida
  • Maine Student Book Award (3rd place)
  • Colorado Children's Book Award
  • Utah Beehive Children's Fiction Award
  • West Virginia Children's Choice Book Award (2nd place)
  • Delaware Diamond State Reading Book Award
  • Keystone to Reading Book Award, Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award
  • North Carolina Children's Book Award (2nd place)
  • Rhode Island Children's Book Award
  • Indian Paintbrush Book Award, Wyoming


  • Instructor Magazine Best Kids’ Books of 2009
  • Cybils finalist (middle grade fantasy category)
  • Chosen as a 2009 Library Guild Selection

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