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Children's LiteratureAnother Mallory McDonald book, and this time she is dying to have the "Perfect Purse," an accessory item she and her friend Mary Ann see on their favorite television show. Mary Ann gets her mother to buy one, but Mallory does not have the same sort of luck with her own parents. So she decides to make her own money and throws herself into various unsuccessful entrepreneurial pursuits, until she and Mary Ann come up with a plan to create a beauty salon in Mallory's bedroom. After the money is made, however, Mallory is torn between buying a birthday present for her brother Max, or spending the money on the purse. Though the story seems overly simple at first—and drags—it becomes more complex as it progresses. One side theme is Mallory's balancing act between her two best friends, and another is the antagonistic relationship she has with her brother. Her mother, as well, plays a large role, but readers are apt to find her pedantic and wish Mallory were free to come to her own realizations without the guilt and strong maternal hand. Mallory is made to feel horrible for offering only a handmade card to her brother for his birthday, but it is unclear what else she is normally expected to do, given that she has had no prior income until this one successful business venture at age nine. Fashion- and coif-loving under-tens will enjoy this cute read the most. Illustrations and design are really fun and well-done. 2006, Carolrhoda, Ages 7 to 10.