Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mallory on Board

Mallory on Board

Laurie Friedman
Illustrator:  Barbara Pollak 
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Lerner, 2008   ISBN: 978-0822590231

Mallory is feeling conflicted and unsure of herself. During Spring Break she and her family will be going on a cruise, and during that cruise the parents of her best friends, Mary Ann and Joey, will be getting married. Mallory cannot help feeling worried that this marriage is not going to be a good thing because it will mean that her close friendships with Mary Ann and Joey will change and she, Mallory, will end up being left out.

   Mallory shares her worries with her parents who remind her that she should be happy for her friends. This marriage is a good thing for both families, and Mallory needs to support Joey and Mary Ann. Mallory is having a hard time doing this though, and when she learns that Mary Ann and Joey’s big sister are going to have matching dresses at the wedding she feels even more depressed. Mary Ann and Mallory are supposed to be the ones with matching wedding outfits.

   Mallory tries to be optimistic that the situation will improve when they get on The Sea Queen, but it soon is clear that things are not going to change that much. Almost as soon as they get on board, Joey’s family and Mary Ann’s family members are singled out for all the attention. They are, after all, the families that are going to get married. Joey, his sister Winnie, and Mary Ann all get cookie gift baskets from the crew. They get to sit at a table together while Mallory’s family members have to sit with another family. Mallory starts to feel like a “third wheel” that everyone has forgotten about.

   Accepting that change is inevitable and doing so with good grace is not always easy. In this excellent Mallory book, the seventh in the series, we see how Mallory struggles to come to terms with the fact that her best friends are combining their families. She cannot help thinking about how this change is going to affect her.

  With humor and sensitivity the author explores how one young girl, and her friends, learn a valuable lesson about friendship.