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They Called Her Molly Pitcher Hardcover – May 14, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

George Washington made her a sergeant in the Continental Army for her bravery, and Rockwell (Only Passing Through) gives her star treatment in this stirring picture book biography. She's Mary (better known as Molly) Hays, and in 1777 she followed her husband to war and straight into the annals of American history. After surviving a winter at Valley Forge, Molly continued on with the remaining soldiers to the Battle of Monmouth (N.J.), fought on a sweltering June day. Molly spends the day fearlessly dodging cannon and musket fire to bring pitchers of water to heat-stricken soldiers and, later, manning the cannon left by her injured husband. Without sacrificing the dramatic momentum, the author also assesses the Americans' military tactics and training (or lack thereof) versus British expectations and mores (despite temperatures approaching 100 degrees, British soldiers wore fur hats and heavy wool suits). Rockwell finds opportunities for humor (in later life, it seems, the only fault her employers ever found with her was that she swore like a soldier) and for her own opinions (after Washington honors Molly, no soldier sneered at the thought of a woman being a sergeant in his army). Von Buhler (Little Girl in a Red Dress with Cat and Dog) works in a folk-art style, and flat perspectives, sturdy brushwork and light crackling effects give her paintings a colonial look. The type, unfortunately, can be difficult to read, set on a rustic, linen-like background a minor flaw in a memorable book. Ages 7-10.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-Pitcher (whose real name was Mary "Molly" Hays) was the symbol of womanly strength during the American Revolution. Although much of her personal life is surrounded by legend now, her role in the Battle of Monmouth is historical. Following her husband into battle, she received her nickname by carrying a pitcher of cold water to wounded soldiers in need. The language is inviting, the story, exciting. Von Buhler's illustrations, which appear crackled, as if they were painted during this period, make the book shine. In one picture, a smudge-faced Molly is shown preparing a cannon for firing. The sole double-page spread is a battle scene that depicts the wounded and dying on both sides. There are no source notes, but Rockwell includes a brief time line and an author's note. More useful as a story than for report writing, this title is a solid choice for introducing the legendary American heroine to primary students.
Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679891870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679891871
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 11.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,604,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cathy Beaulieu on September 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish books on historical events and people were this beautiful and easy to read when I was a child!! I definitely recommend it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LME on September 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Great book for grades 2-5 or a read-aloud for grades K-3. The text is a fine work with a balance of fact, humor, and story. I found the illustrations to be par excellence. The shades of color are reminiscent of paintings of the period and I loved the fine crackling in the background that made each page appear to be an aged oil painting. I thought the placement of the text on linen cloth evoked the era and added another layer of "texture" to the visuals. An impressive book in every aspect and eminently readable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By k on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am always looking for true stories for my children that show a strong female role model. My daughter was especially bothered by the lack of women in her history books, so I actively seek it out. There is a lot out there, you just have to look for it. This is one of her favorites. Molly is fearless in the battle, and is proud of her accomplishments and commands respect for as long as she lives.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grama S on August 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Great story-purchased it for Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter to donate to our local children's library.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Hardy on July 26, 2014
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
great book and transaction
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