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.