Children's Reading List: American Girl Molly and Lapbook


My daughter is zipping through the American Girl books, reading them in historical order. She's now finished Molly's books. Molly lived in 1944 and her father was serving as a medical doctor with the military overseas. WWII was fascinating to my daughter, which surprised me a bit. She learned about victory gardens and recycled scrap metal and other creative ways that all Americans pitched in to help the war effort.

In addition to the 6 "Molly" storybooks, there is a supplemental book we used called
Welcome to Molly's World. This book helped give historical context to Molly's life. It's full of real photographs and brief snippets of life in 1944, with topics such as fashion, employment, the issues at stake in WWII, the role of women on the home front, a map of what a small town may have looked like, a cut-away shot of what a typical American home looked like, who was President at the time, etc. There are other books like this for the other American Girls also and they are a real treasure, if you want to delve more into the historical context of each girl.

As we've done with all the American Girls we've read about, we created a lapbook for Molly. A lapbook is like a fancy and colorful book report / character study. All of the materials we used for the lapbook can be found for free here.

Here is my daughter showing the cover picture of Molly, which she drew. Here she shows page 1 of the lapbook, with lift-the-flap items for Who is Molly, her mother, her father, her best friend, conflict (who does she clash with in the stories), and 4 quick facts about life in 1944. Here is page 2, describing Molly's house, fashion, favorite things, her pet dog, and a map showing where Molly lived in America.

I think Molly was one of my daughter's favorite girls to study. Now, though, she's moved on to the last American Girl - Julie - from 1974. She's already told me "Mom, you should be buying those train tickets to Chicago now!" When she's done with Julie, she will have earned a trip to the American Girl store in Chicago. It won't be long now!

Now, I better put on my thinking cap for what book series she should start on next. Hmmmm. Any ideas would be welcome!


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