Play It Again, Mallory

Overview

Mallory is excited about the six-week arts electives program at Fern Falls Elementary—until she gets stuck in her last-choice class, band. To make matters worse, she is assigned to the tuba, and when she plays, it sounds more like passing gas than music. She dreads the showcase at the end of the program. But with some good guidance from her mom and her band teacher, Mallory learns the meaning of "practice makes perfect" and that, in fact, making music can be lots of fun!

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#20 Play It Again, Mallory

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Overview

Mallory is excited about the six-week arts electives program at Fern Falls Elementary—until she gets stuck in her last-choice class, band. To make matters worse, she is assigned to the tuba, and when she plays, it sounds more like passing gas than music. She dreads the showcase at the end of the program. But with some good guidance from her mom and her band teacher, Mallory learns the meaning of "practice makes perfect" and that, in fact, making music can be lots of fun!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Mallory cannot wait for the new arts program at Fern Falls Elementary, Spring Selections, where all students will be able to choose a six weeks arts intensive: band, orchestra, ballet, or drama. But when she ends up getting her last choice—band—and is assigned the worst instrument in the whole band—tuba!—her misery knows no bounds. Every time she tries to practice, the gas-passing sounds she causes the tuba to emit prompt her older brother, Max, to advise her to "lay off the beans." Mallory is having a T.T.E.: a "Terrible Tuba Emergency." But her band teacher gives her a pep talk, practice schedule, and tutoring sessions in tuba-playing technique, so that the terrible dress rehearsal leads to a wonderful performance at the Spring Showcase: "I know what Ms. Anderson meant when she talked about music magic. I feel it right now." The storyline of the book is completely linear with no enriching subplots, complications, twists, or surprises of any kind; the thirty pages that follow the spring concert are anti-climactic; and it's disappointing that Mallory receives only an award for correct answers on a music quiz rather than the award for "Most Improved" which the whole story has led us to expect. But Mallory is a likeable and credible young narrator, and the tuba is an inherently comic instrument, allowing for plenty of humorous woes convincingly, if predictably, resolved. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
Like most of the kids in grades four through six in her school, Mallory's thrilled to hear they're going to have six weeks of arts electives--until she is assigned the tuba. What's a girl to do? Mallory and her classmates can choose among orchestra, drama, ballet or band--Mallory's third choice. When the dreaded day arrives, Ms. Anderson inexplicably assigns Mallory to play tuba, in spite of her very strong desire to play anything else--not the best way to inspire enthusiasm for musical instruments! Mallory hates it from the first and is caught up in envy of her friends who got their top-choice electives and in embarrassment for the terrible sounds emerging from the tuba. It's all made worse by her distaste for practice. Naturally, things eventually all work out for the best. Many readers of early chapter books will already be familiar with Mallory since this is the 20th in the series. Slightly stylized but nonetheless evocative black-and-white illustrations accompany the relatively simple text. Mallory's first-person narration offers an amusing take on her difficult situation but lacks the spirited depth of voices such as Amber Brown's and Clementine's. Perhaps due to Mallory's primarily female audience, all of the dance participants are "ballerinas"; how odd to eliminate the male students from this choice. Readers of the series will probably eagerly scoop up another somewhat vanilla-flavored entry. (Fiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761360759
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Series: Mallory
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 368,843
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

 Laurie Friedman is the author of many award-winning books for children.  She writes the popular Mallory books, a series of chapter books for 7-10 year olds. Critics have praised the Mallory books, saying that Mallory deserves a place beside Judy Moody, Amber Brown, and Junie B. Jones. Laurie is also the author of numerous picture books including Love Ruby Valentine; Ruby Valentine Saves the Day; I'm Not Afraid of this Haunted House; and Thanksgiving Rules. Laurie lives in Miami with her family and her dog, Ollie.  Jennifer Kalis graduated with a BFA in illustration from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1999. She has been a freelance illustrator for 10 years and currently lives in Powell, Ohio, with her husband and 2 young children.

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