Molly Learns A Lesson: A school Story
Illustrations by Nick Backes
Vignettes by Keith Skeen and Renee Graef
Ages 7 to 12
Pleasant Company, 2000, 0-937295-16-7
It is turning out to be a pretty miserable day in school until the moment when Miss Campbell the teacher announces that there is going to be a school-wide contest – a Lend-a Hand contest to see which team can come up with the best project to help with the war effort. With only one weekend to complete the project, the teams are going to have to work fast.
Before Molly has a chance to say anything it is decided that the girls in her class will knit socks for their project. Now Molly knows all too well how hard it is to knit socks and she thinks the planned project is a bad idea. Indeed she is so convinced of this that she decides that she is going to do her own project and soon she and her two best friends Linda and Susan are trying to come up with some ideas – without a great deal of success. Then Molly suggests that they have a “secret” plan and the girls get to work. What they quickly discover is that it is a lot harder to do something on your own than it is to work together as a team. Molly is now able to really see how alliances work and how important it is to help ones allies in time of trouble – just as England and America are helping one another to defeat the Nazis.
In this second book in the Molly series readers can see how children were affected by the war even when they were in school, and how children played an important role in the war effort with their fundraising, their junk collecting, their war bond purchases, and their knitting bees. The war work of children like Molly not only helped the cause but it also helped the children feel that they too had something to contribute and it gave them the ability to have some control over their much changed lives.
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