American Girl Molly #3: Molly's Surprise - A Christmas Story

by American Girls Collection (Series)

Other authorsValerie Tripp (Author)
Paperback, 1988



Call number

PB Ame

Call number

PB Ame

Local notes

PB Ame


American Girl (1988), Paperback, 88 pages


Even though he is away serving in an English hospital during World War II, Molly's father finds a way to make the family Christmas very special.

Physical description

88 p.; 6.26 x 0.24 inches


0937295256 / 9780937295250



User reviews

LibraryThing member Mialro
Wow, I've had this book maybe since I was 8. It's the only one of my AGC books I've kept (and I used to be obsessed with American Girl and collecting them); I read it every Christmas. To me it helps capture the hope and uncertainty of a child at Christmas during hard times, and the joy of surprises and the certainty of family love.… (more)
LibraryThing member relientkatie
Nine-year-old Molly McIntire wants nothing more than for this Christmas to be the same as the last one, but everything is different because of the war. Most of all, she misses her dad, who is a doctor serving in England. But her mom reminds her that Christmas is a time for surprises, and with the help of her sister, Molly makes a few surprises of her own.
"Molly's Surprise" is a wonderful short novel full of Christmas spirit. Valerie Tripp does a great job of showing the sacrifices that regular Americans made during World War II. I'd recommend it for girls ages 8-12.
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LibraryThing member AnnaLovesBooks
ISBN 0937295256 – The American Girl books are quickly becoming favorites of mine, mostly for sentimental reasons. I'm not sure that that reason translates for young girls, but their little consumer-driven hearts will enjoy the "real" stories of their dolls anyway. With a war going on now, this book seemed very appropriate, so I bumped it up the to-be-read list.

The McIntires, like most of America, faced the Christmas of 1944 with a combination of hope and worry. Molly's older sister, Jill, was encouraging everyone to be "realistic", and not waste time hoping for fun presents because they'd be disappointed when everything they got was practical. Their father was off in Europe, in danger every day, but it was still hard to believe that the magic of Christmas would wane this year. No gifts had arrived from Dad and Molly, for one, was certain they would show up soon. In the meantime, the McIntires will have to learn to make do and create their own special surprises for one another.

There are some spectacular moments in this story, including the conversation between Molly and Jill, where the girls reveal their real concern about the lack of gifts from their father: if he hasn’t sent anything, not even a card, how can they know he's okay? The current wars don’t really equate to WWII, and the level of patriotism and sacrifice are not exactly the same, but the belief in Santa, the joy of Christmas, the love of family and the worries for the people serving our country… those are always the same. Molly's Surprise captures them very well – I think adults will even find themselves enjoying this one. The educational material at the end of the book is a nice bonus.

- AnnaLovesBooks
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LibraryThing member brekimlov
Molly's Surprise is about a girl named Molly McIntire who is living during World War II era. Molly, like any nine-year old, expects for Christmas to be the same as previous years'. But to Molly's surprise some circumstances bring about changes along with new adventures.

This book is apart of the American Girl Collection. I first read the book in the second grade. These books are great for helping children to identify more with history.

A great idea is to have children read the story and identify story parts and to have them look at the similarities between Molly's time and today. Be prepared to let kids do further research about the time period which is found in the back of the book.
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LibraryThing member karlilov
Summary: Young Molly is a child experiencing life on the homefront during World War Two. Her father is overseas and the entire family is having to brave through Christmastime without him. Molly is certain that her father will surprise the family with gifts even while he is away. However, her family is not as hopeful. In the end, though, Molly and her siblings and their mother all realize that Christmas always comes with a few surprises.

Personal Reaction: I would have to say that Molly is my favorite American Girl. This book gives a great account of what it was like for families. Not just during the war, but during the holidays on the homefront. This would be a great book for any elementary age level second grade and up as it teaches children about life during that time period.

Classroom Extension: Students could pretend that they are living on the homefront and they are writing a letter to a friend or family member overseas. They would have to choose why they were out of the country (soldier, doctor, nurse, etc)
and the reason they had for writing to them. Also, another project would be to have children make practical gifts such as the ones given during the 1940s, and exchange them with a classmate.
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LibraryThing member chelsea.sellers
This is a book about a young girl by the name of Mollye who is living in the World War II era. Mollye is excited about Christmas and is expecting the same great Christmas as the Christmas before.

This book is from the American Girl Collection. I loved these books as a young girl because of how they introduced historical events in each book.

These books could be beneficial by introducing them in the classroom study of World War II.
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LibraryThing member kjgehman
Join Molly as she and her family try to celebrate Christmas without their father. Will it be as special without the family traditions?

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