Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Molly's Pilgrim” as Want to Read:
Molly's Pilgrim
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Molly's Pilgrim

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  734 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Told to make a doll like a pilgrim for the Thanksgiving display at school, Molly's Jewish mother dresses the doll as she herself dressed before leaving Russia to seek religious freedom--much to Molly's embarrassment.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 31st 1983 by Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books (first published 1983)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Molly's Pilgrim, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Molly's Pilgrim

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 05, 2009 Sophia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about Molly a jewish girl from Russia. She went to a new school in New York city. There were several others girls: Elizabeth, Emma and Hilda. The class had an assignment to make a doll that looked like a pilgrim. Her mother told her to do her homework and she would make the doll. In the morning, when she looked at the doll, it was not a pilgrim. She asked her mom what it was. Her mom said it was Molly when she was a girl in Russia. Molly didn't have time to fix it before school. W ...more
Sarah Prekopa
May 03, 2012 Sarah Prekopa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
"Molly's Pilgrim" is a really heart-warming story about a young Jewish girl that is having a hard time in her new school. Moving from New York City to a smaller town, Molly doesn't fit in with her classmates, especially because of a bully named Elizabeth. Crying to her mother, Molly is determined to not let her mother know that anymore bullying is going on so that her mother does not talk to her teacher. In school the next day the class is learning about Thanksgiving, a holiday that Molly doesn' ...more
Libby Ames
Nov 13, 2011 Libby Ames rated it really liked it
I don’t usually review picture books, but this is a classic Thanksgiving story perfect for many different ages. Molly and her family are immigrants in America in the early 1900s. Because of her accent and interesting clothes, Molly is teased by other students in school. For a Thanksgiving project, she is told to make a pilgrim clothespin doll. After hearing an explanation of Pilgrims, Molly’s mother makes the doll to look like her. This is a sweet story about all kinds of pilgrims in America.
Nov 12, 2012 MiizRexy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book I read was called "Molly's Pilgrim" by Barbara Cohen. It was about this girl named Molly near her fist Thanksgiving in the New World. Shen doesn't find much to be thankful for because a few girls were making fun of her, but she did not do anything about it. Her classmates giggle at her Yiddish accent and make fun of her unfamliarity with American ways. Molly was embarrassed when her mother helps with a class Thanksgiving project by making a little doll that looks more like Russian refug ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's so easy to think of immigration as only something that happened in the past, but Molly's Pilgrim reminds us in a sweet and simple way that America is still welcoming those looking for freedom. This was an enjoyable story that would make a good read-aloud to primary age children at Thanksgiving time.
A classic book to read at Thanksgiving time. A short read that tells about an immigrant Jewish Russian girl trying to fit into her new school with girls who are unkind to her. She is assigned to make a Pilgrim doll but her mother does the assignment and makes a very unique doll. In the end, the mother teaches everyone a lesson and everyone learns that we are all Pilgrims in some way.
Apr 30, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-rainbow
Reading Rainbow: Watch the Stars Come Out.
We cringe at reading books that depict such mean language (the girls teasing/predjudice) but in this case I went for it. Bea was very inspired by the doll making and embarked on a new obsession for a while.
Dec 22, 2014 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting my preparation for Battle of the Books with this one! This is a nice story about a young Russian Jew struggling to fit into her new school in America. This was a short, easy read that would be a good introduction to chapter books for a young reader.
Nov 15, 2009 Cana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mommy says: Great reminder of what pilgrims really are.
Anna Murdock
Nov 06, 2016 Anna Murdock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this to all my kids this morning. It is really short, but a really nice message.
I really, really want to give this 4 stars, but I just can't. The message is timely and important ~ that Pilgrims didn't just come to this country in 1620. However, and I realize this is probably a by-product of being published in 1983, I don't love that the bully isn't really dealt with. If we want to use this as a read-aloud, Battle of the Books title, or display title, then the issue of bullying needs to be addressed in some way, too. That message is just as, if not more, important in today's ...more
See the complete review at

Molly’s Pilgrim is about a young girl in the early 1900s whose family moved to America from Russia due to religious persecution. After a brief time living in New York City, her family moved to Winter Hill, MA where she finds herself sticking out as the lone Jew in her third grade class. Because she looks different and talks with an accent, she is often the subject of ridicule from her class
Nov 17, 2012 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this book for it's non-traditional take on Thanksgiving. The story is about third grader, Molly, a immigrant from Russia who recently moved from big city New York, a place known for having a high Jewish population, to Winter Hill (Somerville Massachusetts), where she felt alone and like an outsider. Other kids thought she talked funny, looked funny, and didn't accept her because she was different. This was a point of torment and embarrassment to her to the degree of refusing to let her mo ...more
Mal Czuba
Apr 09, 2013 Mal Czuba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Molly’s Pilgrim” by Barbara Cohen, is a story about the girl in third grade name Molly and her everyday experience at new school, where her classmates make fun of her imperfect English and her old, weird looking clothes. Molly and her family are Russian Jewish immigrants that came to the U.S. for freedom of religion and for better life. Molly will celebrate her first Thanksgiving in new country; the holiday she has never heard about before. She is participating in class project, making the pilg ...more
Katie Williams
This is a story about Molly, a "modern day" pilgrim girl who moved to American from Russia and is of the Jewish faith. There is one particularly mean girl in the class who constantly picks on and demeans her in class. As the book is set around the holiday of Thanksgiving and the history behind it, the students are asked to bring in homemade pilgrim puppets. Molly's pilgrim puppet looks nothing like the pilgrims that were talked about in class but instead it was made to look like her mother when ...more
Alexis Waltemeyer
Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen is about a girl who came from Russia with her parents. This is a historical fiction book because it talks about Thanksgiving and Pilgrims. Molly never knew what Thanksgiving was until she had to create a Pilgrim doll for class. All of her classmates teased Molly because her and her mom made a regular doll, and not a doll of a Pilgrim. When the teacher asked her what this meant, she replied that her mom and herself were Pilgrim's and that is why she made the doll ...more
Oct 19, 2010 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Molly's Pilgrim, Molly is a third grade girl who doesn't feel very thankful as Thanksgiving approaches. Molly came to America from Russia after the Cossacks burned a synagogue in Goraduck. The family, fearing for its safety, came to America to seek a more peaceful life.

In school here, Molly looked a bit different and dressed different. Some of the cruel children at her new school in the US made fun of the way she dressed and the way she spoke. School made Molly sad, and she feared that she wo
Feb 02, 2010 Tarissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Find out what a true pilgrim is, in this adorable Thanksgiving story for young children. Molly is a little Russian girl, whose family immigrated to America. Because of her family's background, their accent, and Jewish ways... the other girls in school tease her. Molly is still learning about American things all the time. Thanksgiving is something new to her, but she quickly discovers what it means.

The third-grade class is celebrating the special holiday by creating a small diorama village of Pil
Books Kids Like
When Molly and her parents emigrated from Russia, they told her that America was a land of freedom. As Molly suffers taunts and ridicule from the children in her third-grade class because of her accent and dress, she wonders about America's freedoms. With Thanksgiving drawing near, Molly's teacher announces a class project. Each student is to make a pilgrim for the class diorama. When Molly tells her mother that she must take a girl pilgrim to school the next day, her mother assures her that she ...more
Oct 18, 2016 Josiahpa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Molly’s pilgrim is about Molly and her parents who are Jewish and moved from Russia in order to practice religion like they want. Being different comes with issues as she is the only Jewish girl in her grade level. The teacher gives the students a typical thanksgiving project of making a pilgrim doll. Her mother tries to help but like most parents conforms to cultural practices and dresses the doll in Russian clothing which is embarrassing to molly because she is trying to fit in. this story fit ...more
Jennifer Velez
Molly’s pilgrim is a book about a little Jewish girl that came to the United States from Russia. In school she gets picked on because the other students would say she looked funny and talked funny, she was different. In school they were talking about Thanksgiving, a holiday Molly didn’t know anything about. They got an assignment to make a pilgrim doll, her mom made the doll. Her doll looked different it kind of looked like her, the other students made fun of it, but it taught the class a lesson ...more
Anna Daga
Mar 10, 2013 Anna Daga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text-set
In this story, Molly is coping with challenges of being a new kid at school and finding a sense of belonging upon the arrival in the U.S. She is being laughed at by some of her classmates for being “different”. But her optimism and courage grows as she figures out the meaning of a Pilgrim by making a Pilgrim doll for her school assignment. In the end, she gains a friend.

Based on true events, “Molly’s Pilgrim” gives the readers an opportunity to reflect on such ideas as cultural and individual d
Oct 11, 2016 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read both this and the Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books edition of this book to compare illustrations. The story was exactly the same, so no difference there. Typically I like old-school illustrations better than more modern ones. In this case it was a tie. They were alike in that they were both black and white. However, Daniel Mark Duffy's illustrations were more realistic, almost photographic in nature, than Michael J. Deraney's. "School Library Journal" calls this a "discussion starter". Th ...more
So. I was excited to read this book out loud at breakfast, and...I hated it! YIKES. The really mean school girl "bullies" were never corrected by the teacher (just ignored) and their meanness was a HUGE part of the story, Molly was embarrassed for anyone to see her mom because she was different (they're newer immigrants from Russia), she has ZILCH self esteem, oh man I could go on and on. I know this is a super short "chapter" level book BUT the problems I had were never resolved. SO. This was t ...more
This touching story, based on a true incident experienced by a member of Barbara Cohen's family inspired the Academy Award winning short film of the same name. 3rd Grader, Molly, recently moved to a town called Winter Hill where the girls all made fun of her Russian accent and old-country clothes. She desperately wanted to return to Russia, but their synagogue had been burned by the Cossacks and they might have been burned too if they hadn't left. When Molly has to create a thanksgiving pilgrim ...more
Alexandria Hiam
This touching story, based on a true incident experienced by a member of Barbara Cohen's family inspired the Academy Award winning short film of the same name. 3rd Grader, Molly, recently moved to a town called Winter Hill where the girls all made fun of her Russian accent and old-country clothes. She desperately wanted to return to Russia, but their synagogue had been burned by the Cossacks and they might have been burned too if they hadn't left. When Molly has to create a thanksgiving pilgrim ...more
Meredith Burton
Nov 09, 2016 Meredith Burton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Molly's Pilgrim is a tenderly told tale about a young Russian immigrant trying to fit into her new home. Molly's voice is honest and endearing. I loved how her frustrations, desperate need to belong and love for her family are portrayed. Ms. Cohen beautifully shows that the term "pilgrim" is universal and applies to any person seeking freedom. The information regarding the inspiration behind the Pilgrims' thanksgiving feast was interesting and informative. I thoroughly recommend this story as we ...more
Amelia read this book with her teacher as a special project for them to complete together. She sent it home presumably so Amelia and I could read it together. This was a different kind of thanksgiving and acceptance book. However, there was a lot of bullying that was not well addressed. The book made Amelia pretty upset about the mean girls and it could have been handled much differently by the teacher (however, it is not a current book so not likely the same sensitivities we have these days.)
Jun 16, 2012 Robyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story of how a Jewish family fled one type of persecution in Russia for a different type of persecution in America. Since I have a younger sister named Molly, my mom got this book as a gift for her, but I couldn't put it down when I started reading it! I may have even seen a clip of this book made into a short movie a few years before I read the book. It was kinda neat, since in the movie you could hear the voices & the differences in the accents.
Cj Schauwecker
Molly's Pilgrim was a very short and boring book and I don't know why I even read it. Although it was a touching story, it lacked many key things that makes a book interesting. This book was about a little girl who makes a pilgrim doll for her teacher that looks a lot like the girls own mother. I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars because I thought the book was not terrible at all but it was not very interesting.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • It's Thanksgiving
  • How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story
  • Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy
  • The Perfect Thanksgiving
  • Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving
  • Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
  • Over the River and Through the Wood
  • Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares
  • Sarah Morton's Day: A Day In The Life Of A Pilgrim Girl
  • Molly Bannaky
  • Franklin's Thanksgiving
  • The First Thanksgiving
  • The Thanksgiving Door
  • Thanksgiving Rules
  • If You Sailed On The Mayflower
  • Immigrant Kids
  • Three Young Pilgrims
  • The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad
Barbara Cohen (1932-1992) was the author of several acclaimed picture books and novels for young readers, including The Carp in the Bathtub, Yussel's Prayer: A Yom Kippur Story, Thank You, Jackie Robinson, and King of the Seventh Grade.
More about Barbara Cohen...

Share This Book