A cute story about Amanda and Leo, a pair of 5th graders who were born on the same day and became best friends who spent every birthday together untilA cute story about Amanda and Leo, a pair of 5th graders who were born on the same day and became best friends who spent every birthday together until the year they turned 10. When Amanda overheard Leo saying something not-so-nice about her to his friends, her feelings were hurt and her friendship with him destroyed. Now she faces spending her first ever birthday without him.
However, when strange things begin to happen to Amanda on her eleventh birthday, she realizes that Leo is the only person who understands what she's going through and the only person who can help put things back to normal. The two seem to be reliving their 11th birthday over and over again, and no matter how they try to make things different, they can't figure out why they are in this time loop or how they will ever break free of it.
This "Groundhog Day" like scenario is cute, although the reasons behind it are a bit thin and forced. Too, some things don't make sense. For example, Amanda has only played the drums in her basement, is 100% self-taught and has never performed for anyone, yet she can read music well enough to impress a pair of older rock band members and even successfully try out for the marching band. The characters are supposed to be 5th graders yet they are already in middle school (not sure what part of the country has 5th grade as part of middle school instead of elementary), and although it is supposedly the end of the school year (June 5), no mention is made of this.
To be bluntly honest, I'm not sure how it qualified to be a Caudill nominee given the level of quality and sophistication most Caudill books demonstrated. Comparatively, this book is too light and fluffy.
These minor quibbles aside, it's an okay read for older grade-school kids but probably boring for middle schoolers.
Cute story about the boy and girl next door, told in alternating points of view. From the moment she first lays eyes on him, Juli is madly in love witCute story about the boy and girl next door, told in alternating points of view. From the moment she first lays eyes on him, Juli is madly in love with Bryce. But at age 7, Bryce is already certain that Juli is the last girl in the world he wants to have hanging around. Over the next few years, Juli's devotion grows stronger while Bryce struggles to avoid her. When the two enter the 8th grade, suddenly everything changes. Juli starts to see sides of Bryce that make her question her unconditional adoration, while Bryce begins to look at Juli in a new way.
Really liked the way Van Draanen shows the same situation from both Juli and Bryce's points of view. A great read for middle grades....more
Fantastic book! Very much in the same vein as the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series in that if follows a journal form. A great way to get middle-school boFantastic book! Very much in the same vein as the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series in that if follows a journal form. A great way to get middle-school boys to read (grades 4-6) as it is light, funny and told from a male's point of view....more