Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

In Business With Mallory

In Business With Mallory

Laurie Friedman
Illustrator:  Barbara Pollak 
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Lerner, 2006   ISBN: 978-0822565611

When they lived in the same town, Mallory and her best friend Mary Ann used to watch their favorite show together. Now, though they live many miles apart, the girls still watch Fashion Fran together - over the phone. Holding their phones to their ears, Mallory and Mary Ann happily listen to what Fran has to say about the latest in rain wear and then the fashion diva starts talking about a new accessory; the Perfect Purse. The purse has ten different fashion covers, a waterproof cover for rainy days, and a sparkly butterfly pin. Both girls fall in love with the Perfect Purse and they decide that they both must get one so that they match when they get together in two weeks’ time.

   Mary Ann is confident that her mother will buy her the purse, but Mallory is less sure that her mother will see that it is vital that Mallory have this purse, that it is essential that Mallory and Mary Ann match. Mallory is right to be concerned. Her mother thinks that the purse is an overpriced extravagance and nothing Mallory says to her parents gets them to change their mind.

   After a chat with her grandmother, Mallory decides that the solution to the problem is a simple one; she must make some money so that she can buy the purse for herself. Mallory soon finds out that setting up a business that makes money is not easy. In fact, it is very hard indeed. One after another, Mallory’s businesses fail.

   Then, at last, with Mary Ann’s help, Mallory creates a business that is successful. The girls set up a beauty salon in Mallory’s room, and the salon attracts lots of paying customers. Mallory finally has the money to buy the purse and she is thrilled to bits. Until her mother reminds Mallory that her brother’s birthday is coming up and Mallory needs to buy him a birthday present. Mallory doesn’t have enough money for a gift and the purse. Does she really need to give Max a present? It isn’t as if he is a nice brother all the time.

   Learning the value of money and how to prioritize what is important is not easy. In this sensitively written Mallory title, we see how Mallory realizes that sometimes getting what you want is not easy and sometimes having what you want is not as wonderful as you thought it would be. Written from Mallory’s point of view, this story deals with a difficult subject with humor and understanding.