Mallory Makes a Difference
Laurie Friedman (J Fiction)
Mallory McDonald, no relation to the restaurant, had a rotten Halloween. She had two places to be on Halloween and rather than choosing one, she tried to do both and quickly realized that instead of having it all, she ended up with nothing. That’s why Thanksgiving was going to be better…it had to be! Mallory decides that she would feel better if she could make others happy so with the help of her friend Joey, Mallory organizes a school-wide canned food drive to help the community food bank. Soon the entire student body at Fern Falls Elementary is on board…especially since the winning grade gets one homework-free week as a prize! But soon things start going wrong and as the thrill of competition overshadows the spirit of giving, can Mallory still make a difference when everyone around her seems to hate her?
Mallory Makes a Difference is the 28th and final book in the Mallory McDonald series, which ran from 2004-2017. In this last installment, author Laurie Friedman has Mallory facing a fracture in her relationship with Mary Ann where she discovers, as most girls her age do, that your friendships from childhood evolve and change. Even as our young heroine puts aside her own wants by doing something for others, she still craves approval from friends who don’t share her own views or desires. Readers are sure to empathize with Mallory as she navigates between doing the right thing while still wanting to please her peer group.
Friedman ends her series with a nice story that shows young people the benefits of giving back to your community and being a force for positive change. At the end of the book, Friedman provides readers with a 10-Step Guide to Planning a Great Community Service Project that anyone wanting to make a difference can use as a template. Through Mallory, readers are shown the value of planning and teamwork, as well as the rewards of getting different ideas and being open to new approaches. Something that all of us can appreciate and should take to heart.
All through the food drive, as Mallory watched the spirit of the event deteriorate as the prize became more important than the purpose, she kept reminding all involved (even herself) that helping other people was the true important thing. Maybe if more of us kept that in mind, we—like Mallory—could make a difference, too.
* Book cover image attributed to: www.amazon.com