Title: Meet Molly
Author: Valerie Tripp
Format: Paperback – First Edition
It was not too long ago that I came upon some very sad news, American Girl Dolls get retired. I was shocked and saddened by this when I learned that great characters such as Felicity, Kirsten and Samantha have all been retired. Yet, saddest news of all is next up to be retired is Molly McIntire! Why is this the saddest news of all? Molly is my favorite American Girl from the entire collection! In a lot of ways I felt like I was Molly because she was the girl with stick straight brown hair that she hated because it was so flat and boring and the girl with glasses. Molly was a girl who was imaginative and had two best friends that she did almost everything with – just like me. Only difference in my mind was that she had grey eyes while I didn’t, lived in World War II and had siblings to wrestle with as well. Yes in some ways major differences, but still Molly was the girl I identified with the most, living during a period of history that fascinated me the most.
It is because of my love for this character growing up and even to this day that I decided to read back through some of her books to give Molly a fitting farewell. He books will always live on according to the American Girl website but still it is not the same because when another little girl falls in love with Molly and wants to be just like her and have the doll just like her it won’t be available. (Needless to say I own a Molly doll – and getting her was a huge deal for me!)
Picking up the first book in the series I was hit with a flood of memories having forgotten much of the story. I forgot how she had siblings to wrestle with; I forgot that her first story was set in Halloween and how she wanted to be my favorite fairy tale princess Cinderella. So it was nice to re-explore the story and drudge up the old feelings such as her hatred for turnips which I did happen to recall of all things. It was a simple and happy read as Molly was very much a classic nine year old girl dealing with a pain in the butt older brother. In a way as I read I was transported back to being that nine year old girl who first started reading the book on the floor of her teacher’s class room thinking , this girl is exactly like me she looks like me and reacts the same way I would to this situation!
My only complain about the book was the ending and not because it ended but because it was a quick and convenient wrap up. It is something that does happen in a lot of books that are trying to teach a quick little lesson. After reading an entire story about Molly and her brother fighting and getting back at each other to finally make up the moment after mom gives them a lecture about getting along and setting them to chores as punishment for their misbehavior. I don’t have any siblings but from what I know of sibling rivalry this isn’t a very accurate portrayal. The one saving grace that did keep things from being too over the top was the fact that Molly and her brother Ricky did find a bit of common ground before agreeing to not fight any more, so the ‘hug and make up’ scene wasn’t too over the top and random.
Overall, I would give this book a 4 out of 5 pages and strongly recommend this book to any brown haired girl, or really any young girl because the American Girl book to me always seem to be rather relate-able and fun to read while teaching about interesting times in American History. (I particularly love that not only do you get a mostly realistic story that shows off the way life was during that time period there is an entire section at the end all about life during that time with images of thing and people during that time period).