The Girl Who Threw Butterflies
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The Girl Who Threw Butterflies

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,149 ratings  ·  224 reviews
For an eighth grader, Molly Williams has more than her fair share of problems. Her father has just died in a car accident, and her mother has become a withdrawn, quiet version of herself.

Molly doesn’t want to be seen as “Miss Difficulty Overcome”; she wants to make herself known to the kids at school for something other than her father’s death. So she decides to join the b...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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22nd out of 71 books — 248 voters
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Lars Guthrie
What a great book to read as the Giants are working hard to become this year’s National League entry in the World Series. Knowing about baseball is not a requirement for enjoying ‘The Girl Who Threw Butterflies,’ however.

A supporting character, Celia, could care less about baseball, and Celia is just as cool as cool can be. Mick Cochrane could have written a book about Celia. Baseball is only important to her because Molly, the girl of the title, the knuckleball pitcher, is her best friend. Cel...more
So, a story about a girl who tries out for the boys' baseball team... nothing new here, right? Soooo wrong! This is the sweetest, most touching story I have read in a while. While she struggles with normal 8th grade stuff, she also struggles with the death of her father and the aloofness of her mother. Her constant memories of the father that we never meet in the book and how he taught her the game of baseball are wonderful.

This book is full of beautiful analogies and symbolism that would be gr...more
Molly Williams learned to throw a knuckleball pitch from her father. The two of them spent hours bonding over games of catch and watching baseball on TV as Molly grew up. But now Molly’s father is gone – he died in a car accident a few months ago and 8th grader Molly is alone in her grief. Her workaholic, distracted mother is unavailable emotionally, and Molly just can’t relate to her former teammates on the girls softball team any more. Impulsively, she tries out for the school baseball team as...more
Tricia Douglas
This was a wonderful book about Molly overcoming the death of her father and how she strenthens her own self by joining the boys' baseball team at school. Molly is at a difficult age in 8th grade and struggles to understand her mother and friends at school. It is a magical tale of a wonderful girl using the talents her father taught her in pitching the famous "knuckleball." She not only surprises herself, but gains the respect of the team and her friends. There are many solid emotional and humor...more
I think this book affected me more than it would have otherwise because I just read another book about death (and Hunger Games #3 is coming up). So aside from my need to meet with a therapist because of my depressing book choices, I'm doing okay.

Molly Williams is recovering from the death of her father. She decides to honor his memory/stay connected to him by going out for the boy's baseball team (not softball!) What follows is a sweet and audience age-appropriate book on grieving and moving on....more
I loved this book, couldn't put it down. I thought the story was compelling and believable and the writing was simple and beautiful. Excellent, strong female breaking tradition for her own, deeply personal reasons. This rang very true for me...I would highly recommend it to either gender...
Molly Williams, a middle school student has a special talent that helps her overcome her grief and lack of confidence. She is missing her Dad, who died six months ago in a car accident and who instilled in her a love for baseball. Molly and her mom are struggling to continue their lives without him when Molly decides to try out for the boys’ baseball team. She makes the team, using her talent of throwing a knuckleball, something no one else on the team can do. Playing baseball helps her gain con...more
Perfectly set in Buffalo, NY.
So sad, but amazing!
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Molly’s a pitcher. Her eighth grade year she does something a little different. She tries out for the boys baseball team instead of the girl’s softball team. When she shows up for try-outs, Molly brings her secret weapon, a weapon that comes as a suprise to the other boys trying out as well as her coaches. Molly can throw a floating knuckleball (a butterfly). And she can throw it hard.

But this story is about much more than a girl trying out for a usually all-boys team. Boys’ baseball isn’t the o...more
"The most important stuff, what was closest to the bone, was just what you never talked about. There were no words for it...The trivial and silly is what you spend your day chatting about. You could ask your friends how they liked your hair, but you could never ask them what you really wanted to know: Is there hope for me, yes or no?"

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies, P. 5

I have read many of the newly published books from 2009, and I must say that this is one of the very best Newbery eligible v...more
The Loft
Life is as unpredictable as a knuckleball. Molly learns that the hard way — her father has just died in a mysterious car accident. Her mother is in that ”distant, ticked-off, unreachable place.” Molly is left to navigate on her own the morass of 8th grade and grief. And the one thing that she knows can help her the most is BASEBALL.

Remembering the long afternoons playing baseball with her father, mastering the art of throwing a knuckleball, Molly decides to try out for the baseball team — the bo...more
Elizabeth K.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What an incredible read! This really is one of those books I can see myself reading again and again, and which I won’t hesitate to recommend as a must-read.

A few of the things I loved so much about Molly is how realistically she’s painted and how easy it was to relate to her in some ways. Also, she doesn’t come across as a strong character at first because she’s shy and withdrawn, but she’s intelligent and astonishingly perceptive of her surroundings and the people around her. The reader learns...more
Sandra Stiles
Molly Williams was the apple of her father's eye. They played catch together, watched the games on TV together and he came to all of her softball games. He even taught her to throw a knuckle ball. Then the unthinkable happened. Her father is killed in a mysterious car accident. Her mother is handling her grief by withdrawing. Both of them are becoming angry with each other. It is like they just go through the motions of living. Everytime Molly notices something else of her father's is gone she g...more
Kay Mcgriff
Molly Williams doesn’t mean to shake things up when she goes out for the boys baseball team during eighth grade. She just misses baseball, that she played and watched with her dad before he died in a freak car accident. She may not be the biggest jock, but she does have a secret weapon: She can pitch a knuckleball. Will it be enough to impress her coaches and new teammates?

While not dealing with the guys on the baseball field. Molly is trying to negotiage the relationship with her mother, who h...more
Gr 5-9
When Molly's father dies in a mysterious car accident, her mother becomes withdrawn and distant. She feels alienated by Molly's love of baseball and seems unfocused and unsupportive. Left to figure out her grief on her own, Molly uses the mean knuckleball her father taught her (her secret weapon) to become pitcher of the boy's 8th grade baseball team. A leisurely, gentle story with colorful background characters, like best friend Celia and maybe boyfriend Lonnie. The narrative is full and...more
The Girl Who Threw Butterflies is one of those books that seems short and easy to read through just from the looks of it, but there are so many layers within the story that it is not just a brief, quick read. Molly is not only dealing with the death of her father, which she believes could be more than just an accident, but she is also experiencing life with a mother who acts distant and unreachable due to the fact that she has lost her husband. Molly experiences a number of feelings in regards t...more
Molly williams has always had a thing for baseball. She often played softball, but it wasn't quite the same. It isn't just the thrill of the game because baseball was something special she shared with her father. In fact, he helped her master the knuckleball.

Her dad had been an editor for one of the local papers in Buffalo. He had always had dreams of being a sports journalist, but that just didn't pan out, and his dream was not quite achieved. That was one of the reasons why people questioned w...more
You know, I need to come up with a new rating system. I read this book and really liked it. REALLY liked it. I probably wouldn't read it again, but I had a great experience with it. However, all I have is read-and-liked, which means it was anywhere from meh to good, and read-and-loved, which is more like I would go out and buy this and re-read it, although it's not a favorite.

Okay, enough of that rant. I LIKED THIS BOOK A LOT. HURRRR.

It had lots of nice language moments. It was a sports story i...more
Amanda Toombs
Genre: Junior book—Contemporary Realism

Summary: Molly Williams is a girl whose life changes very quickly as her father is killed in a car accident and her mother changed tremendously after his death. As Molly has the love for baseball and remembers a special knuckleball her father taught her, she does the unexpected and joins the baseball team at her school. Joining the baseball not only made Molly stand out, it helps her with many relationships throughout her life.


a. I personally bel...more
Sammy L
"The Girl Who Threw Butterflies," by Mick Cochrane is about an eighth grade girl named Molly Williams. Ever since Molly's dad died, her mom has working nonstop, with no time for Molly. Molly and her dad had bonded over baseball; playing it and watching it together. In an attempt to play baseball, Molly had joined the softball team last year. This year, she realizes that she doesn't want to go back to the girly version of baseball, with softballs that are too light, underhand deliveries, and team...more
Molly Pace
Molly Williams isn’t too good at talking about her feelings, or what’s going on in her head. It makes more sense to her in baseball terms, like a box score:

L-for Loss: like a 7-3 defeat against the Red Sox—or the night the police showed up to tell Molly’s mom her father had died in a car accident.

E—for error: An easy ground ball goes right between your legs and into the outfield—or, Molly loses control with her mother and starts screaming at her. She doesn’t want to be this way, like some kind...more
Mary Harris
Citation: The girl who threw butterflies, by Mick Cochrane. (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009). 177. Contemporary Realism.
Genre: Junior Book – Contemporary Realism
Summary: The book tells the story of a girl named Molly whose father has recently passed away and their love of baseball. Eventually Molly decides to go out for the boy’s baseball team.
A. I thought this story was heartwarming.
B. Glancing at the title you think the book is going to be one thing, however, it is so much more. It is a story of a pro...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eva Mitnick
A good, straightforward YA novel about an 8th-grade girl, Molly, who decides to honor heramazing gift - the ability to throw a fairly reliable knuckleball. It's also a way to honor her recently-deceased dad, who taught her baseball. Unfortunately, playing baseball means being the only girl on her school baseball team.
The loss of her dad and, as a result, the happy mom and predictable family life she used to have, are Molly's main problems - otherwise, things go fairly well for Molly. Sure, there...more
A few short months. That’s how long it’s been since Molly’s father died in the car accident. Molly and her mom don’t talk about it. In fact, Molly knows all that her mom wants to hear is that everything is fine – 8th grade is fine, Molly’s friends are fine, Molly is fine. Molly’s mom doesn’t want to know that Molly is tired of being known as Miss Difficulty Overcome – identified only by surviving her father’s death. Molly’s mom certainly doesn’t want to know that Molly’s not going to be on the s...more
I could write for days on all of the literary elements found in this book. I've never (I admit it) "listened" to an entire book. At first, I didn't like it-- I like to give the characters my own idea of their voice and tone. But as the story went on, I loved it. I was so involved in the story, all of the description, comparisons, cliches, you name it!

This book incorporated sports, bullying, female/male roles, death, family dynamics, friendships, and so much more.

I would listen to it everytime I...more
Molly Williams, trying to overcome the profound grief felt from her father's untimely and unexpected death, decides to try out for the eight grade boys' baseball team. Molly and her father shared a love of the intricacies and nuances of the game...and somehow she wants to pay tribute to her father's life. Her father taught her how to throw the trick pitch, a knuckleball...and she's pretty good at it too. Hopefully, good enough to make the team and earn the respect of coaches, her team, and oppos...more
Sep 25, 2009 Claire rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: 11 and up- the teen / preteen child parent angst is a character in its own right.
Another book processing grief- it makes me wonder what are authors going through? Is grief a metaphor for our times and national losses?

At any rate Mick Cochrane has created a sweet girl, Molly- her dad didn't come home one night, his car left the road and he did not survive the accident. Now Molly's family is truly small, she and her mother are separate entities encased in grief, going through the motions of the days. Molly is smart and aware and tries to give her mother the space she needs to...more
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“The most important stuff, what was closest to the bone, was just what you never talked about. There were no words for it...The trivial and silly is what you spend your day chatting about. You could ask your friends how they liked your hair, but you could never ask them what you really wanted to know: Is there hope for me, yes or no?” 3 likes
“It was her street, her neighborhood, her life. She knew that someday in the future it would not be hers anymore. But she would remember it, she would treasure it, she would miss it. She would hold it in her heart. She knew that someday she would look back at this very moment and miss it....Never had life seemed more beautiful and more sad.” 2 likes
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