Molly’s Surprise: A Christmas Story
Illustrations by Nick Backes
Vignettes by Keith Skeen and Renee Graef
Ages 7 to 12
Pleasant Company, 2000, 0-937295-25-6
Molly’s sister Jill is truly the voice of reason in these days leading up to Christmas. She reminds Molly that this year they are having a war Christmas and that they cannot expect to receive any surprises or treats. “We have to be realistic” she says. After all there is little money to spare for presents and the rationing is strict.
To make things even more depressing it looks as if Dad forgot to send them a Christmas box and he was always the one who said that “there are always surprises at Christmas.” Molly can hardly bear to imagine a Christmas without any surprises.
Then Molly’s mother reminds her that Christmas is a time for hope and that it would never do to give up on her dreams. As for surprises, well there is no reason why this Christmas can’t have surprises. Everyone will just have to be a bit more creative than usual.
By working together and by not giving up on their dreams, Molly and her family are able to create a special, if different Christmas. Readers will see how children in the war years had to make many sacrifices and how everyone had to find new ways of doing things. It was a challenge that many rose to with great fortitude and resourcefulness. In these days when Christmas is such a huge commercial and shopping extravaganza, it is refreshing to read about a time when Christmas was a simpler and perhaps more meaningful celebration.
This is the third book in the Molly series.
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