Welcome to Molly’s World 1944 is a companion book to the whole Molly project. However, unlike the novels about Molly, this book is a social history providing a look at life during the war as a young person might have experienced it. The American Girls collection included this same type of book for each of their historical dolls, though much of their historical material and even some dolls have now been retired. These are truly wonderful books for familiarizing young readers with the major components of each period, and in the case of World War II, that also includes a basic introduction to the horrors of that war – the fighting and its resulting casualties, the Holocaust in Europe and the Atomic Bombs in Japan – without overwhelming them or scaring them away from ever wanting to know more. Each section includes a minimal amount of explanatory text and a collage of topical photographs, maps, letters, telegrams and other types of documents to provide a real sense of life at the time.
But words never seem to do real justice to pictorial books and so I am letting some of the pages from Welcome to Molly’s World speak for themselves.
Another thing I did not know but was happy to discover is that the old Scotty dog pins I inherited were inspired by Roosevelt’s dog Fala, his faithful companion throughout the war (pg 15).
Welcome to Molly’s World was written by Catherine Gourley, who also wrote War, Women and the News.see The Children's War The two books are structured in a similar manner, though I think Gourley did a more cohesive job on this book, making it one that I can highly recommend.
The American Girl Company has discontinued their line of Welcome to… books, but they are still available in both public and school libraries and may still be available in some bookstores or online. Ever since Mattel bought it, the emphasis of the company has been more on the girl of today, than on the historical aspects were the foundation of the Pleasant Company, the original American Girl creator.
This book is recommended for readers aged 7-12.
This book was borrowed from the Yorkville Branch of the New York Public Library.
Non-Fiction Monday is hosted this week by Playing by the book