Dr. Molly Barrow

The Official Dr. Molly Barrow Blog offers educational self help advice about relationships, business, dating, marriage, parenting, teenagers and children, self-esteem, love and romance. Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D in psychology and is the author of Matchlines for Singles and the self-esteem adventure series, Malia and Teacup Awesome African Adventure and Malia and Teacup Out on a Limb. Dr. Molly is a relationship and psychology expert host on progressiveradionnetwork.com and television guest.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Malia and Teacup Florida Weekly Rave Review by Philip K. Jason

'Malia & Teacup Awesome African Adventure' By Dr. Molly Barrow Illustrations by Erik Pflueger. (Barringer Publishing. $14.95) REVIEWED BY PHILIP K. JASON http://www.philjason.wordpress.com/
Special to Florida Weekly

Naples psychologist Molly Barrow is all over the Internet. Google her name and you'll find her Web sites, her blog and dozens of references to her appearances and mentions in popular and specialized media. Her column, "Shrink About This," appears regularly on www.menstuff.org, and other specialists often quote her.
You can listen to her online radio show. You can read her well-reviewed book, "Matchlines." You can see her appear as herself in the 2008 film "My Suicide," which focuses on teenage depression.
And you can find her article about selfesteem and her Malia and Teacup books in the spring 2010 issue of the prestigious journal, Children and Libraries.
Dr. Barrow has made her reputation as an expert in improving relationships, whether the arena is couples intimacy or the workplace. Now she adds to her audience with a major venture into children's literature. Her Malia and Teacup series recently launched its first title: "Awesome African Adventure." It's a rollicking read for kids 9 years old and up, as well as their parents and grandparents.
Grandma is dead but remains well preserved in the freezer, her voice often advising 12-year-old Malia. Dad is dead and mom has run off with a misfit beau, and the looney doings of her wheelchair-bound Grandpa are not quite what a middle-schooler needs for guidance.
Understandably, Malia's demeanor has been less than pleasant. Her life at school has turned into a nightmare. She has frustrated her teachers, become a target of abuse from her classmates, and is threatened by the mean-spirited school psychologist with being taken away from Grandpa's abysmal though loving care.
Then comes news that is both good and bad: The industrious school shrink has discovered that Malia's father is alive, remarried and living in Kenya. Soon, even though she feels a responsibility to stay with her ailing Grandpa, Malia is bound for Africa to live with a man who chose to disappear from her life 10 years earlier.
In Kenya, Malia finds herself a secondclass citizen. Remote and demanding, her father insists on highly disciplined behavior, and Malia almost always fails to meet his expectations. Her stepmother is selfabsorbed as well as preoccupied with her pregnancy. Her stepbrother schemes to get Malia in trouble.
Although her father's lifestyle indicates an abundance of wealth, allegedly from his success in the petroleum industry, Malia feels more at home with the loving and playful family of one of her father's African employees.
Soon after arriving in Africa, she becomes responsible for an undersized poodle, a gift rejected by her stepbrother. The delightful Teacup provides Malia with emotional salvation during an arduous transition.
Malia's adventures in Africa include partaking in a tribal ceremony, surviving an elephant stampede, rescuing Teacup from a monkey, witnessing a terrorist bombing in Nairobi and confronting a vicious government inspector who calls her father an assassin.
Malia herself wonders about her father. It's obvious that he has a secret life, but not obvious just what the secret is.
As Malia's dangerous adventures and family conflicts pile up, she strives to overcome her fears and stand up for herself. More and more, she demonstrates not only determination, but also the ability to solve problems, to be patient when necessary and to realize that while appearances are often deceiving, it is sometimes for a good reason.
Young readers will identify with Malia's outsider sensibility, with her frustrations and — one hopes — with her growing resourcefulness and enhanced decisionmaking skills.
While engaging her audience in high adventures in exotic settings, Dr. Barrow imparts important life lessons and advances knowledge about and tolerance for other cultures.
For younger readers, Dr. Barrow has prepared "Out on a Limb," an abbreviated treatment of Malia and Teacup's African experience. In the pipeline: "Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon" set in Bhutan and "Queen to Bishop's Right," an English mystery.
Dr. Barrow has found a recipe that mixes humor, action, respect and understanding in just the right proportions. Fanciful enough to hold a child's attention, and wise enough to help children grow up without sermonizing and without belittling their actual problems, these are the kinds of books that parents and teachers, as well as kids, have been seeking. Philip K. Jason


Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of Matchlines for Singles, Matchline for Couples, and Malia and Teacup: Awesome African Adventure and Malia and Teacup: Out on a Limb. As an authority on relationship and psychological topics,Dr. Barrow is a member of the American Psychological Association, Screen Actors Guild, and Authors Guild and is a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert in the film, My Suicide, documentaries Ready to Explode and KTLA Impact, NBC news, PBS In Focus, WBZT talk radio, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday, New York Times, CNN, The Nest, MSN.com, Yahoo, Match.com, Women's Health, Harvard Business School, Women's World, has a radio show on blogtalkradio.com and is a columnist for Menstuff.org.


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