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11 Birthdays

Amanda Ellerby is the main protagonist of the Wendy Mass novel 11 Birthdays.

11 Birthdays

Amanda has been friends with her next-door neighbor, Leo Fitzpatrick, since they were children. They were both born on the same day, July 5 in the small town of Willow Falls. She lives with her parents and spiteful big sister, Kylie.

One day, in 4th grade, Amanda hears Leo insulting her buddies and avoids him for one year. The next day - and year - her 11th birthday rolls around. Due to how much she is scared of The Wizard of Oz, she cannot bear to wear a Dorothy Gale outfit for her Hollywood-themed birthday.

Things get super complicated when the next day is her birthday all over again for some reason. Amanda struggles to overcome it by feigning an illness. Her mother takes her to the doctor, who examines her. One night, she gets unjustly grounded by her mother for stealing her papers.

As her birthday repeats itself eleven times - hence the title - Amanda and Leo struggle to mend their friendship. All the while, their actions get them into trouble, like when they try to rekindle their bond by going out on their own to a music shop to drum together. Their parents find them and it results in Amanda's mother forbidding her to have cake or presents and Leo being grounded for a long time, but Amanda's birthday repeats itself once again.

Leo and Amanda do whatever they can to bring themselves back together. Then they realize that the repeating day is an enchantment inherited by their great-grandparents, and at the end of the book, they reconcile and break the spell.

Trivia

  • 11 Birthdays has spawned four additional books in the Willow Falls series: 12 Finally, 13 Gifts, The Last Present, and Graceful.
  • Despite the pressures she goes through, Amanda cares deeply for Leo and even helps her father when he gets sick and her mother when she gets fired.
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