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*In Search of Molly Pitcher* by Linda Grant De Pauw- young readers book review
In Search of Molly Pitcher
by Linda Grant De Pauw
Ages 9-12 164 pages January 2008 Paperback    

Peggy McAllister receives an assignment from school that could lead her to win the Rattletop Award. Each year the winner’s name is placed at the top of the list of engraved winner’s names on a bronze plaque for the town to see for all time. Peggy is determined that she will have her name on this list; however, she makes an unpopular choice for the competition that will involve more work than the other options she was presented with, disappointing her teacher immensely. But something about this name stands out for her, and she follows her heart.

Peggy soon discovers historical documentation on Molly Pitcher is difficult to locate. Entire sections of the story of Molly’s life are missing or contradictory, forcing Peggy to interview people who have studied this era. Peggy’s mother isn’t well and is overworked, but since they live with Peggy’s grandfather, she finds ample support for the research project. His former career as a private investigator proves invaluable for Peggy in finding contacts and learning how to follow leads.

The research techniques and journey through the mystery of who Molly Pitcher was and what her story was can actually serve educators and parents well: it shows the pleasure of a good mystery and the pride of solving the puzzle. The author also reveals the importance of good resources and contacts for research projects. The storyline allows for small lessons on what an essay is, tips for doing a research project, detailing the work involved, and the joy of finding answers. Another interesting educational aspect to the story is learning about the famous historical character in the U.S. known as Molly Pitcher. The book contains several images of historical war paintings and a few illustrations as well.

Author and award-winning historian Linda Grant De Pauw has written four published historical works of nonfiction, two novels and two other books for young readers. The cover design for In Search of Molly Pitcher is eye-catching; unfortunately, there is no information in the book itself as to the eco-printing or eco-publishing options that many conscious publishers are embracing today. For this reason alone, I have deducted a half star. Overall, this book will be a wonderful adventure for young readers.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Lillian Brummet/2008 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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