Friday, May 4, 2012

Campfire Mallory

Campfire Mallory (Mallory #9)
Laurie Friedman, illustrated by Jennifer Kalis
Carolrhoda, 2008
$5.95, Paperback
February 13th, 2012

Genre: Realistic, School Story, Humor
Age: 7+
Description: Everyone is going away for two weeks to Camp Blue Lake. Mallory is nervous but excited that Mary Ann will be there with her the whole time so she’s got lots of fun stuff planned for them to do together. Unfortunately, they get put into separate bunks and groups and Mallory gets stuck with Carine—a girl who seems to always get Mallory in trouble (such as getting in trouble for having a messy part of the cabin, not having a life vest, getting separated during a buddy check, and getting disqualified from a relay race). Will camp ever get any better?
Opinion: I love the Mallory books! This book is just as great as the others except for the fact that I found Carine to be a little too annoying. She did thing after thing wrong and everyone keep telling Mallory to give her a second chance and when Mallory accidentally spills paint on Carine all of a sudden everyone blames Mallory for doing it on purpose and Mallory begins to all of a sudden care about whether Carine will ever speak to her again. It just made me a little mad that Carine never got the punishment for doing anything and it all feel on Mallory instead. Mallory could have stuck up for herself a little bit. This series attracted my attention because of the fun covers which are featured on all the books (currently up to 18 volumes). Like the quote from School Library Journal on the back cover says, “Mallory is an appealing character who deserves a place among Junie B. Jones, Judy Moody, Amber Brown, and Clarice Bean.” I wholeheartedly agree. Mallory is a character any child, from late elementary school age to older tween age, can relate too. The topics of the books are very pertinent to young readers’ lives. Each book of the Mallory series continues to offer something new to the experience of a young girl that everyone can relate too. While Mallory might seem whiny at times, it is all just a testament to how great Friedman got the self-absorbed worldview of an eight-year-old girl down. Each book begins with an introduction to the reader from Mallory and usually incorporates handwritten letters or emails to friends within the pages. Each book also ends with a special ending of something relating to the story—such as class pictures, scrapbooks of photos from the events, Valentine’s Mallory received from her friends, instructions for things, and so on. Everyone will find a little piece of themselves in Mallory.

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