Friday, May 4, 2012

In Business with Mallory

In Business with Mallory (Mallory #5)
Laurie Friedman, illustrated by Barbara Pollak
Carolrhoda, 2006
$5.95, Paperback
February 13th, 2012

Genre: Realistic, School Story, Humor
Age: 7+
Description: When Mallory and Mary Ann see the Perfect Purse on an episode of Fashion Fran they decide that they each must get one. The only problem is that Mallory’s mom refuses to buy her a purse. Mallory decides to start a business to raise the funds she needs. After a few failures, Salon Mallory is a hit and starts bringing in the dough. The only problem is just when Mallory has enough money for the purse her mom takes her shopping and says she should buy Max, her older brother, a birthday present! Mary Ann convinces Mallory to spend the money on the purse and make Max something instead. However, she didn’t anticipate the Perfect Purse becoming such a pain or Max’s feelings at getting shafted.
Opinion: 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.

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