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Friedman, Laurie 1964-

Friedman, Laurie 1964-

Personal

Born January 28, 1964, in Fayetteville, AR; daughter of Kenneth (a lawyer) and Annette (a business executive) Baim; married David Friedman (a real estate developer), November 4, 1989; children: Rebecca, Adam. Education: Attended Sorbonne, University of Paris, 1984; Tulane University, B.A. (English and French), 1986. Hobbies and other interests: Cooking, reading, spending time with family, dog walking.

Addresses

Home—Miami, FL. Agent—Susan Cohen, Rosenstone/Wender, 38 E. 29th St., 10th Fl., New York, NY 10016. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Children's book author. Grey Advertising, New York, NY, advertising account executive, 1986-88; Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Houston, TX, account executive, 1990-92; N.W. Ayer Advertising, Houston, account executive, 1988-90; writer. Speaker at schools.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

First-place award in children's division, writing competition of South Florida chapter, National Writer's Association, 1999, for A Big Bed for Jed; Bank Street College Children's Book Committee Best Children's Book designation, 2004, for Mallory on the Move; International Reading Association/Children's Book Council Children's Choice designation, 2005, for both I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House and Mallory vs. Max; Society of School Librarians Honor designation, 2005, for Mallory vs. Max.

Writings

PICTURE BOOKS

A Big Bed for Jed, illustrated by Lisa Jahn-Clough, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2002.

A Style All Her Own, illustrated by Sharon Watts, Lerner (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House, illustrated by Teresa Murfin, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Love, Ruby Valentine, illustrated by Lynn Avril Cravath, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

"MALLORY" CHAPTER-BOOK SERIES

Mallory on the Move, illustrated by Tamara Schmitz, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Back to School, Mallory, illustrated by Tamara Schmitz, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Mallory vs. Max, illustrated by Tamara Schmitz, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Happy Birthday, Mallory!, illustrated by Tamara Schmitz, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

In Business with Mallory, illustrated by Barbara Pollak, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Heart-to-Heart with Mallory, illustrated by Barbara Pollak, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Mallory on Board, illustrated by Barbara Pollak, Carolrhoda (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Sidelights

Children's book author Laurie Friedman is best known for her "Mallory" series of chapter books, which are geared for readers in the younger elementary grades. Praised by her humor and engaging young characters, Friedman has also shared her humorous slant on childhood with younger readers in the picture books A Big Bed for Jed. Here she gives the familiar transition from crib to bed an "amusing treatment" in a rhyming text that "will provoke smiles," according to Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper. Another picture book, Love, RubyValentine, finds a young girl bemoaning the fact that she slept through her favorite day, until her pet cockatoo, Lovebird, reminds her that she can show her affection for others every day, not just on Valentine's Day. The author spins another holiday-themed offering in I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House, while A Style All Her Own combines Friedman's text and Sharon Watts's illustrations into what School Library Journal contributor Carolyn Janssen dubbed "a fun bit of fluff for fashion-focused girls."

Readers meet eight-year-old Mallory MacDonald in Mallory on the Move, which finds the girl moving to a new town and making the transition between old and new friends. She weathers her stint as the new girl in class in Back to School, Mallory, helped by the fact that her mom is directing the school's end-of-year play. Sibling rivalry—more accurately, a competition for attention with her older brother's new dog—is the focus of Mallory vs. Max, and the need for financial independence inspires the girl to find gainful employment in In Business with Mallory. A secret admirer brightens the girl's mood in Heart to Heart with Mallory, while another step toward independence is taken in Mallory on Board, as Mallory goes on a cruise with her two best friends Joey and Mary Ann … and without her parents. Each of the "Mallory" books are written in a first-person narrative, and "Friedman's engaging writing style makes for enjoyable reading," according to School Library Journal contributor Tracy Karbel in a review of Back to School, Mallory. The author "finds a true voice for her likable but somewhat self-centered character," Sharon R. Pearce noted in her School Library Journal review of Heart to Heart with Mallory, while Booklist critic Shelle Rosenfeld dubbed Friedman's protagonist "lively" and "appealing." As Rosenfeld added, the "first-person narrative in Mallory on the Move, "written in short, descriptive sentences, is accessible and entertaining."

Friedman once told SATA: "My first book, A Big Bed for Jed, is a rhyming picture book about a little boy who conquers his fears and makes ‘the big switch’ from his crib to a bed. For me, imagination and a bit of real-life frustration were the key to writing A Big Bed for Jed. My own son's reluctance to move from a crib to a bed inspired me to come up with a solution that, along with a little dash of reverse psychology, proved surprisingly effective and served as the basis for Jed's fun and quirky story line.

"I like writing about change and transition, and the ‘Mallory’ books are all about learning to accept change. Change is hard to deal with. I hope my books will give kids a fresh and funny way to look at having to make changes and help them realize that change doesn't have to be bad, just different.

"I live in Miami, Florida, where I enjoy spending time with my husband, David, and our two children, Becca and Adam. I start each day with a walk, thinking about what my characters might do or say, then I go home and put all those thoughts and ideas on paper. I love what I do, and I am hard at work on lots more books for kids of all ages."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of A Big Bed for Jed, p. 864; September 1, 2005, Connie Fletcher, review of I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House, p. 144.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2004, Hope Morrison, review of Back to School, Mallory, p. 16; September, 2005, Elizabeth Bush, review of I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House, p. 16.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2002, review of A Big Bed for Jed, p. 46; March 15, 2004, review of Mallory on the Move, p. 269; February 15, 2005, review of Mallory vs. Max, p. 228; July 1, 2005, review of I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House, p. 734; September 1, 2006, review of Love, Ruby Valentine, p. 903.

Publishers Weekly, January 7, 2002, review of A Big Bed for Jed, p. 63; March 1, 2004, review of Mallory on the Move, p. 69; January 31, 2005, review of A Style all Her Own, p. 67; August 1, 2005, review of I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House, p. 64; October 9, 2006, review of Love, Ruby Valentine, p. 55.

School Library Journal, July, 2002, Rosalyn Pierini, review of A Big Bed for Jed, p. 90; April, 2004, Debbie Stewart Hoskins, review of Mallory on the Move, p. 110; August, 2004, Tracy Karbel, review of Back to School, Mallory, p. 86; April, 2005, Carolyn Janssen, review of A Style All Her Own, and Sharon R. Pearce, review of Mallory vs. Max, both p. 97; September, 2005, Tina Zubak, review of Happy Birthday, Mallory!, p. 170; January, 2007, Sharon R. Pearce, review of Heart to Heart with Mallory, p. 94.

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