Sunday, October 12, 2008

Children's Book Monday

Molly Bannaky
written by Alice McGill
pictures by Chris K. Soentpiet (soon-pete)

This book, based on the true story of a servant girl from England, had us captivated before we even opened the cover. Molly's face and torso, her serious, proud expression, made us wonder who this woman was, and what she did that warranted an entire book written about her. "Turn the pages and come with me, children...", and into the book we dove...

One of Molly Walsh's daily chores as a dairymaid was to rise early every morning and milk the cow. Her owner was lord of the manor, and when for the second day in a row the cow tipped over the milk bucket, Molly was brought before the court for stealing. The usual penalty was death on the gallows...

But the law stated that if one could read the Bible, one could escape this fate. Molly's voice rang out clear and true. She could read.

Her life spared, Molly was still sentenced to seven years of bondage to be served in a colony across the ocean. At seventeen, she boarded a ship and said goodbye to England forever.

In the New World, Molly worked hard for a tobacco planter, and when her seven years was up, by law she was freed and given an ox hitched to a cart, a plow, two hoes, a bag of tobacco seeds, and much more. Molly headed four miles into the wilderness and staked a claim, an unheard of act for a woman.

She worked hard through the years, and with the help of an unlikely person, grew quite prosperous. The generations that came after Molly are evidence of her character, and you will enjoy reading the historical note at the end of the story.

My boys were fascinated with this book, and I came across Micah with it in his lap on numerous occasions. "Mama, did you know that Molly was only one year older than Aunt Beth?" he wondered. Amazed by this, his jaw dropped when I pointed out that this meant she was younger than Uncle Dan when she staked her claim. Perspective is everything.

This is a wonderful addition to your history lessons, and will lend a richness to your colonial studies.

Happy Reading!

4 fellow travelers shared:

Cathy said...

Hi Elise -- I'm going to look for this at the library today. We were able to meet Chris Soentpiet one time! Thanks for the review.

And on a different topic--I cannot believe how that little baby over there on the right keeps moving along his pretty blue ribbon. He reminds me to pray for all you of you!

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

This looks a beautiful book, Elise... such a haunting, provactive cover... We appreciate what you do in this place every Monday. Thank you.

And yes, me too, so often, friend, praying for you and that sweet little one growing in quiet hidden places.

Missing you, whom I've never met...

Karly said...

Wow, this sounds so cool. You find some good ones.

By the way, we finished the Penderwicks. It was a great read, but I have to warn you, it has a lot of the word "stupid" in it. I get carried away when reading out loud, and I think my girls thought it was scandalous that I could so accurately portray Sky's character!

Stacy said...


Loved this book! Daddy just got it from the library today and we instantly sat down to read it. What a treasure.

Thank you for your recommendations.

Blessings to you, sweet nearly-due mama! :)


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