Happy Birthday, Mollyby Valerie Tripp, David Gaadt, Keith Skeen
Molly and her friend Emily plan a birthday party together. But their friendship starts to fade when they find themselves at odds. American Girls Collection/Molly #6.
School Library Journalea. vol: photogs. reprods. (American Girls Series). CIP. Pleasant. 1987. PSm $12.95; pap. $5.95. Gr 1-5 Yes, the American Girls series is written to formula, and yes, it is heavily promoted commercialy to sell dolls and related accessories. But the dolls are well crafted and so are the stories. Each book ends with several pages of illustrated factual ``Looking Backward'' information. The writing style is lively, the characters believable although not deeply delineated, and the action in the short chapters is enough to hold the attention of young readers. The birth of Kirsten's baby sister and the making of a friendship quilt along with her tenth birthday party at a barn-raising are the major events of Kirsten's story, set in Minnesota in 1854. The discussion of the dangers of tornadoes and the high mortality of infants in those days add serious notes to the generally happy tale. Samantha's fancy tenth birthday party in 1904 is followed by a trip to New York City and a wild chase after a mischievous puppy, ending at a suffragette meeting. Molly changes her romantic view of wartime England and faces reality when an evacuated British girl her age comes to share her home and birthday. In all the volumes the easy-to-read type and the realistic color illustrations, both full-page and vignette, add to the attractiveness of these unintimidating volumes. Sylvia S. Marantz, Wellington School, Columbus, Ohio
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