11 Birthdays video booktalk

Amanda and Leo have shared ten birthdays. But something happened last year that tore their friendship apart. What will their eleventh birthday be like?

It all started exactly eleven years ago, on the day Leo and Amanda were born. He was named after his grandfather Leo, and she was named after her grandmother Amanda. And they celebrated their birthday together, every year, for ten years. They were best friends, and they did everything together, until their tenth birthday, when Leo did something so mean and hurtful that Amanda just couldn’t forgive him.

A year later, on their eleventh birthday, they hadn’t even spoken since their last birthday. They had separate parties, which weren’t nearly as much fun as one big party. Amanda had such an awful day, that when she woke up the next day, she was glad her birthday was over.

But everyone else in her family seemed to think it was still her birthday. And when she got to school, everyone did too! It was like her birthday was being replayed. The longer it went on, the more confused she got—could she be stuck in some kind of time warp or something?

Then, she began to wonder what would happen if she didn’t do exactly what she’d done the day before. Could she change what other people did?

She could! When she did something different, so did everyone else. It wasn’t until she woke up on her birthday for the fourth time, that Amanda discovered that she wasn’t the only one living one day over and over. Leo was too! He passed her a note in first period that said, “Happy Birthday (for the fourth time)!”

What was going on? Why were they reliving their birthday over and over? And how long would it last? Was there any way to break the cycle and get back to real life and living each day only one time? And if they couldn’t make life stop repeating itself, would they both be eleven years old forever?

The booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, librarian, consultant, and internationally know booktalking expert.