11 Birthdays
Goodreads ratings
4.18 / 5

"11 Birthdays" Characters Analysis

By Wendy Mass

fantasy | 272 pages | Published in 2008

GROUNDHOG DAY meets FLIPPED in this tale of a girl stuck in her birthday.It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited -- after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, she wakes up happy for a new day. Or is it? Her birthday seems to be repeating iself. What is going on?! And how can she fix it? Only time, friendship, and a little luck will tell. . .


Estimated read time: 6 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Amanda EllerbyProtagonist
Leo FitzpatrickProtagonist
Mrs. EllerbySupporting Character
Mr. FitzpatrickSupporting Character
Gracie CarsonSupporting Character
Tara BrennanSupporting Character
Timmy LoomisSupporting Character
Megan KaufmanSupporting Character
David GoldbergSupporting Character
EmilySupporting Character

Role Identification

In the book "11 Birthdays" by Wendy Mass, the main characters are Amanda Ellerby and Leo Fitzpatrick. They are both protagonists who share the same birthday and have been best friends since they were born. The supporting characters include Amanda's parents, Mrs. Ellerby and Mr. Fitzpatrick, as well as their classmates and friends, Gracie Carson, Tara Brennan, Timmy Loomis, Megan Kaufman, David Goldberg, and Emily.

Character Descriptions

Amanda Ellerby

Amanda is a twelve-year-old girl with long brown hair and hazel eyes. She is described as being intelligent, determined, and organized. Amanda is known for her love of science and her ability to solve problems. She is also a loyal friend and is always there for Leo.

Leo Fitzpatrick

Leo is also twelve years old and has messy blond hair and blue eyes. He is portrayed as creative, adventurous, and outgoing. Leo enjoys playing guitar and is often seen wearing his signature leather jacket. He is a risk-taker and is always up for a new adventure with Amanda.

Mrs. Ellerby

Mrs. Ellerby is Amanda's mother and is depicted as a caring and supportive parent. She is a teacher at Amanda and Leo's school, Willow Falls Middle School. Mrs. Ellerby is known for her kindness and understanding towards her students and her own daughter.

Mr. Fitzpatrick

Mr. Fitzpatrick is Leo's father and is described as a laid-back and easygoing person. He is a photographer and often captures special moments in Amanda and Leo's lives. Mr. Fitzpatrick encourages Leo's creativity and supports his son's dreams.

Gracie Carson

Gracie is Amanda and Leo's classmate and friend. She is a cheerful and optimistic girl with curly red hair. Gracie is always there to lend a helping hand and brings a sense of joy to the group. She is also a talented artist and often creates beautiful drawings.

Tara Brennan

Tara is another classmate of Amanda and Leo. She is a quiet and shy girl with short black hair. Tara is known for her intelligence and her love for books. She is often seen reading and is always ready to share interesting facts with her friends.

Timmy Loomis

Timmy is a classmate who is passionate about sports, especially basketball. He is a tall and athletic boy with short brown hair. Timmy is friendly and competitive, always ready for a game. He adds a competitive edge to the group and is often seen challenging Leo to various sports activities.

Megan Kaufman

Megan is a popular girl in Amanda and Leo's class. She is described as fashionable and confident, with long blond hair. Megan is often seen as a leader among her peers and has a knack for organizing events and parties. She adds a touch of glamour to the group.

David Goldberg

David is a classmate who is known for his love of computers and technology. He is a smart and nerdy boy with glasses and curly brown hair. David is always up to date with the latest gadgets and is often sought after for technical assistance. He brings a tech-savvy element to the group.


Emily is a new student in Amanda and Leo's class. She is a shy and reserved girl with long black hair. Emily is often quiet but observant. She adds a sense of mystery to the group, and her presence has an impact on Amanda and Leo's journey throughout the story.

Character Traits

Character NamePersonality Traits
Amanda EllerbyIntelligent, determined, organized, loyal
Leo FitzpatrickCreative, adventurous, outgoing, risk-taker
Mrs. EllerbyCaring, supportive, kind, understanding
Mr. FitzpatrickLaid-back, easygoing, supportive
Gracie CarsonCheerful, optimistic, helpful, artistic
Tara BrennanQuiet, shy, intelligent, bookish
Timmy LoomisFriendly, competitive, athletic
Megan KaufmanFashionable, confident, organized, social
David GoldbergSmart, nerdy, tech-savvy
EmilyShy, reserved, observant, mysterious

Character Background

Amanda and Leo have been best friends since birth. They were born on the same day and have celebrated their birthdays together every year. However, on their eleventh birthday, a falling out between them leads to a rift in their friendship. They stop speaking to each other and start celebrating their birthdays separately.

Character Arcs

Amanda Ellerby

At the beginning of the story, Amanda is determined to have a perfect twelfth birthday party without Leo. However, as the day repeats itself, she realizes the importance of friendship and forgiveness. Amanda goes through a transformation where she learns to let go of grudges and open herself up to the possibility of repairing her friendship with Leo.

Leo Fitzpatrick

Leo, initially hurt by the argument with Amanda, focuses on his own adventures and attempts to break the time loop they are trapped in. As the story unfolds, Leo learns the value of friendship and the significance of his bond with Amanda. He grows to understand the importance of communication and honesty in maintaining relationships.


Amanda and Leo's friendship is the central relationship in the book. Their bond is tested when they argue on their eleventh birthday and stop speaking to each other. However, as the story progresses, they both realize the significance of their friendship and work towards rebuilding it.

Other important relationships include Amanda's relationship with her parents, Mrs. Ellerby and Mr. Fitzpatrick. They provide support and guidance throughout the story. The friendships between Amanda, Leo, Gracie, Tara, Timmy, Megan, David, and Emily also play a crucial role in their individual character development and the overall narrative.

In conclusion, "11 Birthdays" by Wendy Mass explores the complex dynamics of friendship, forgiveness, and self-discovery. Through the characters of Amanda and Leo, readers witness their growth, transformation, and the power of love and understanding. The book emphasizes the importance of communication and the value of true friendships that withstand the test of time.