By: Laurie Friedman
Illustrated by: Jennifer Kalis
Publisher: Darby Creek Publishing
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 2013
Mallory Louis McDonald was way anxious to get back to school because Mrs. Finney had a big announcement to make. Apparently Fern Falls Elementary School *ta-dah* was going to have a Spring Selections program. Everyone would “get to choose an arts intensive.” There were all kinds of interesting things to choose from including drama (yes!), ballet, band or orchestra. No doubt that Mallory would be selected for Mrs. Denson’s program because drama could have been her middle name. Mallory’s best friend, Mary Ann, was into hip-hop so ballet would be her choice. One, two, three ... everyone had to make their selections in order of their preference.
April claimed that “It’s going to be so hard to pick” and Pamela was way anxious to start. Arielle and Danielle, who weren’t anyone’s greatest fans, were hoping for ballet. The selections would be made, there would be practice, and the Spring Selections Showcase would be held. Everyone crammed into the cafeteria to check out the sheet. They were excited because most of them were getting their first choice, including Mallory’s pesky brother, Max and his best friend, Dylan. It would be so cool to get into drama, but when she stepped up to check the list, Mallory found a little problem. She wasn’t in drama, ballet was out, but BAND was in!
Maybe if she was stuck with band, she could at least have an interesting instrument. Ms. Anderson was going to make her selections and let them know. “Mallory McDonald and Calvin Strong will be playing ...” tuba! It was a disaster waiting to happen when that big tuba landed in her lap. It was nothing but a huge embarrassment. Max said she “should lay off the beans” and she agreed. No way was she going to waste her time practicing. At the Spring Selections Showcase rehearsal one of the clarinetists looked at her like she was a “zoo animal that wandered into the wrong exhibit.” Was Mallory going to sound like she had gas at *the* biggest event Fern Falls had all year?
Mallory McDonald is at her very best with her terrible tuba dilemma. Anyone who knows anything about Mallory Louise McDonald will laugh out loud at her big gas issue. No, it’s not good to laugh at someone else’s problems, but I just couldn’t resist laughing out loud at them this time. Usually Mallory has gotten into mischief of her own making, but this time the problem found her instead. The tuba problem that is. Mallory, the wannabe drama queen, has finally met her match in the brass section of Ms. Anderson’s band. She is just as dramatic as ever, but try as she might, she couldn’t finagle her way out of this one. Like Mallory? If you do, you’ll love her after this one!
Quill says: If you love Mallory, you're certainly going to enjoy her latest because it's a real gas!