Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
You really feel as if you are reading nine-year-old Mallory's diary. Laura Friedman makes the story believable and writes in the same voice throughout. At first Mallory does not think she needs a secret diary since she tells all her secrets to Mary Ann, her best friend. Mallory and her family are invited to a neighbor's party; Mallory is thrilled until she learns a little more about the occasion. Her best friend at school is Joey and he tells her that Mary Ann is also coming to the party. She learns that Mary Ann's mother and Joey's father may get married. She becomes unhappy and a little jealous for fear that she will be left out of things. Mary Ann loses interest in the Valentine party at school until she receives a gift from a secret admirer. She receives another gift from a secret admirer and she is really surprised. Mallory writes anonymous letters to Mary Ann's mother and Joey's father hoping she can stop the marriage. This does not happen, and she becomes aware that the secret admirers are Joey's family members. Mallory becomes a happy well-adjusted girl again. Mallory is a typical girl that parents would love to have and neighbors would like their children to have for a friend. Girls may enjoy this book more than boys, but it is one that all children should read. This title is part of the "Mallory's Books" series.
School Library Journal
In this sixth book about Mallory, her new friend, Joey, and best friend from the old neighborhood, Mary Ann, are spending a lot more time together. Joey's father and Mary Ann's mother are dating, and the nine-year-old feels left out of the new family circle. Mallory fears that her friends' parents will marry and that the step-siblings will forget about her. The book is written as a diary and includes the date, time, and location for each entry, e.g., "Monday after school, at the desk in the kitchen." Pencil cartoons and a font that resembles a child's handwriting lend appeal. Friedman finds a true voice for her likable but somewhat self-centered character. It is all about Mallory until Joey admits that he is also frightened by the changes in his family. She then realizes that her worries are minor. A Valentine's Day party, exchanging cards at school, and a clever secret admirer who turns out to be a "friendly cheerer-upper" type rather than the "in-love-with-you" type are incorporated into the story. Fans of Megan McDonald's "Judy Moody" books (Candlewick) and Marissa Moss's "Amelia" notebooks (S & S) will enjoy Mallory.
Sharon R. PearceCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.