Friday, May 4, 2012
Happy Birthday Mallory
Laurie Friedman, illustrated by Tamara Schmitz
February 12th, 2012
Genre: Realistic, School Story, Humor
Description: It’s almost Mallory’s 9th birthday. Instead of celebrating one day she plans to celebrate her birth month. But how will she handle it when her whole month seems to get off to a bad start?
Opinion: This Mallory book is a super special because it is written wholly like a diary, which is something a number of later Mallory books will take on (Heart to Heart is Mallory’s diary, the class trip book is a long written note to her teacher who requires a field trip notebook/log). This is a fun way to break up the narrative stories from ones written specifically by Mallory. 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.