Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Honestly, Mallory!

Honestly, Mallory!

Laurie Friedman
Illustrator:  Barbara Pollak 
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Lerner, 2007   ISBN: 978-1580138406

It is Saturday and Mallory is eager to begin the day. She loves Saturdays and is hopeful that she will be able to spend this one with one of her friends. She calls Joey, who lives next door, and Pamela, who sits next to Mallory in school, but neither of these friends are free. Joey has soccer practice so that he is on top form for the upcoming championship, and Pamela is at a violin lesson and is getting ready for a recital. When Mallory calls her best friend, Mary Ann, for a chat, Mary Ann isn’t free either because she has to go out to do a hip hop dance demonstration. As she hangs up the phone Mallory cannot help feeling a little left out. Everyone she knows is doing something special, something that will make them “sparkle” when they do it.

On Monday Mallory’s teacher makes an announcement. The following week they are going to have a Career Day. Each student will choose a career that they would like to follow (maybe) and on the day they will make a presentation about “what you’d like to be and why.” The kids will even get to dress up in clothes that are suitable for their chosen career.

All the kids in the class are thrilled with this assignment. It will be exciting to talk about what they want to be when they grow up. It will be fun to dress up and play the part of being a musician, a doctor, or a dancer. All the kids chatter happily about Career Day. All the kids except Mallory. Mallory has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up. She doesn’t have a hobby that could lead to a career, like Joey or Pamela. The more everyone talks about Career Day the more anxious and worried Mallory gets.

Then Mary Ann comes over for the weekend and she saves the day. She suggests that Mallory could be a fashion designer. Mallory has a very special fashion style that is all her own, and she loves clothes and accessories.

Mallory is thrilled by this idea and when Danielle asks Mallory what she is going to be for Career Day, Mallory can finally give her an answer. The problem is that Danielle, in her own way, then makes fun of Mallory’s choice. Instead of being supportive or complimentary, she makes it clear that she does not think Mallory could be a fashion designer. With their hurtful words Danielle and her friend Ariel manage to make Mallory feel very small. In response, Mallory does something she later deeply regrets. She tells a lie. She tells Danielle that she has won the Fashion Fan Kids Can Design Contest. She wants Danielle to think that she, Mallory, could be a fashion designer, that she has what it takes to follow such a career path. Mallory never imagines that her one, little lie is going to turn into a big unhappy mess.

In this eighth Mallory book we see what happens when a person blurts out a lie. Mallory’s lie is not malicious, and yet it manages to hurt a lot of people who are dear to Mallory. It is easy to see how the lie happens, and it is also see how hard it is to undo the damage that the lie does.