Did you ever have the worst day of your life - one where you wished you could just start all over again? Amanda Ellerby has one of those days in the book 11 Birthdays
by Wendy Mass. Every year Amanda would celebrate her birthday with her best friend, Leo Fitzpatrick, who had been born on the same day (June 5th). But last year, Amanda and Leo had a huge fight and had not spoken to each other since.
Now one year later Amanda was going to host her first birthday party without Leo. The day goes horribly wrong from the start, from her fright from a giant floating SpongeBob balloon to her afternoon pop quiz to her disastrous gymnastics tryouts. That night at her birthday party, Amanda (uncomfortably dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz) watches in disbelief as her best friend, Stephanie, leaves her house to go to Leo's party. After all, how can she compete with a live band and a hypnotist?! When Amanda goes to sleep that night, she's glad her nightmare 11th birthday has finally come to an end...
...but it doesn't! In a surprising twist (like the 1993 Groundhog Day movie starring Bill Murray), Amanda wakes up and it's her 11th birthday all over again. No one else in Willow Falls seems to notice it's the same day but Amanda - except maybe the strange old lady with the duck-shaped birthmark who keeps popping up in unexpected places. Like Samantha in the teen novel Before I Fall, Amanda is hopelessly trapped in a time loop with no end in sight. It's no wonder she loses her temper and takes it out on SpongeBob (and her alarm clock). With each repeating day author Wendy Mass reveals new clues about the mystery behind this deja vu adventure. With only 272 pages, 11 Birthdays is a fun, fast-paced story about the value of friendship and getting second (and third and fourth) chances to make things right. Great for readers aged 9 and up.
For another funny book for pre-teens, try Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies
by Erin Dionne (link below).