Winnie is eleven years old. From her birthday in March to the last days of the following February, we follow her year as she transitions from fifth to sixth grade, finds new friends and struggles to keep the old ones.
There were many times reading this book, that I felt like Lauren Myracle had reached into my pre-adolescent brain and plucked out the memories. I can only imagine that reading this book as an actual eleven year old would be an amazing experience, turning every page to discover that the author has yet again managed to read your mind.
Winnie is a perfect eleven year old. She’s silly and sophisticated by turns, extremely self-conscious always. Her friendship with her best friend Amanda is starting to flounder in the face of a new, very popular girl, and Winnie is honest in her jealousy and confusion about this new turn of events. But since the book spans an entire year of life, the transition from one friend to another is gradual, much the way it is in real life. We seldom wake up to find a good friend is now an enemy, the way it so often is portrayed in teen books. Instead, Amanda and Winnie simply drift apart, with neither girl fully happy with the change but unable to do anything to stop it.
This book is recommended to any young girls, and most of their mothers. The sequels, Twelve and Thirteen are also excellent, and, read one after another, give a fantastic sense of Winnie growing older and more mature.