Some promises are hard to keep.
CM Magazine"An elementary school audience [will be able to] relate to Molly's struggles...Recommended."
Resource Links"An accessible, easy-to-read text with surprising depth...Deals quietly with issues like race, class, various kinds of sickness, and how families differ. The novel should generate lots of conversation in a class or reading group...A smart selection for anyone who has ever struggled with a secret or worried about being different. It's also an inspiring story of a girl who's learning to get along despite difficult circumstances. Many readers will identify with and enjoy Molly's story."
School Library JournalGr 4–7—Seventh-grader Molly has a lot of uncertainty in her life. Her mother left when she was a baby. She struggles to fit in at school with either the First Nation kids or the white kids, and she is battling mean girls and her own self-esteem. The only thing she is certain of is that she wants to sing, and when the talent competition comes up, it's the perfect opportunity to show off her skills. The problem is that Molly has only ever sung in her head and promised herself that her mom would be the first one to hear her sing. In this small book with a lot of story packed into it, readers will enjoy the high drama of the characters introduced in A Different Game (2010) and Murphy and Mousetrap (2005, both Orca). Readers will relate to Molly's uncertainty as she tries something completely new, and her friends (the Formidable Four) offer lively relief to the seriousness of her situation. The writing lends itself to younger or reluctant readers, but the content (e.g., parental drug use) may prove difficult for some. The main difficulty, though, is that there are too many story lines. In such a short novel, they compete with one another and are ultimately distracting.—Sarah Townsend, Norfolk Public Library, VA
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury SwanGrade Seven is turning out to be a good year for Molly because she has friends to hang out with. It hardly matters they are all boys and they are from the First Nations Reservation. Molly's dad is First Nations, so she especially fits with Murphy, whose mom is First Nations. With friends Molly can withstand the bullying by stuck-up Paige and her followers, even though one of them, Nell, used to be Molly's friend. The boys encourage Molly to try out for girl's soccer since she seems to have a talent for it, but she is not interested in competing. What Molly really would like more than anything is to sing for her mother, but she has no idea where is her mother is. And her father will not tell to Molly. When she sees an announcement on the school bulletin board about a talent show, Molly really wants to sing in it, but she feels that would be breaking the promise she made to first sing out loud just to her mother. She confides in her friend Murphy and after he hears her sing, he rounds up the gang to encourage Molly to enter the contest. Now Molly is feeling awful, because she did not wait to sing for her mother first. With the help of Murphy's mother, Molly's dad finally explains that her mom is serving a sentence in jail on a drug charge. When Molly finally talks to her on the phone, Mom encourages her to sing in the contest. The power and beauty of Molly's voice impresses everybody and Molly gains confidence in herself. This is a nicely told story about believing in oneself and one's dreams. It lends itself to classroom discussions on self-worth, courage, and accepting one's parents as they are. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
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