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Molly's Surprise: A Christmas Story
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Molly's Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girls: Molly #3)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  2,822 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Even though he is away serving in an English hospital during World War II, Molly's father finds a way to make the family Christmas very special.
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published August 1st 1986 by American Girl Publishing Inc (first published 1986)
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Mar 23, 2011 Bree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, children
This review is from the perspective of a mother. I am reading the books to decided when they are age appropriate for my daughter.

This is one of my favorite Molly books - Molly decides that keeping the Christmas spirit alive, even during wartime, is worthwhile. There are a few setbacks, and maybe it isn't exactly like previous Christmases, but Molly's persistence wins over the rest of the family, with a nice surprise at the end for everyone.

The Looking Back section focuses on Christmas during war
Mar 23, 2017 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Oct 06, 2007 E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrensfiction
When I was kid, I didn't particularly like the moral to this one, mostly because Molly has to learn not to be so sentimental about her Christmas traditions and I was fiercely sentimental about Christmas. Today of course, I think it is an important lesson for children to learn. I like the fact that all the American Girl holiday stories are about learning to give up something to help the entire family enjoy themselves, when of course every kid has extremely high expectations right before Christmas ...more
Dec 29, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mollys Christmas story reminds me a lot like mine would've been like if my family lived during her time. She is a very relatable character. I love reading her books
Katie Farmer
3.5 stars
I loved this one, it almost made me cry at the end.
Alex Baugh
Dec 07, 2012 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
Back on 2010, I listed Molly's Surprise along with some other Christmas books that are set during World War II, so I thought I would give it a proper review this year. As you probably already know, the Molly in the title is Molly McIntire, a 9 year old girl living in the Midwest in 1944.

In Molly's Surprise, the holiday's are approaching, it appears it will be a real austerity Christmas for the McIntires, along with the rest of the country. There will be no real treats because sugar and butter ar
Moving story about an American family missing their father at Christmastime during World War II.
Jul 20, 2013 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My children and I listened to this book while driving home from the pool in the middle of summer. Our air conditioner was broken, so it was refreshing to listen to a Christmas story while the sun kept us a little too toasty.

The story is a good one. It is a reminder of the importance of family and tradition.

This particular American Girl book happens to touch me deeply because it gave me the opportunity to think of my grandmother. Once, when I was a child, I interviewed her for a school project.
Sarah Crawford
Feb 16, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this story Molly and her family are getting ready for Christmas, but it doesn't really seem quite like Christmas since their father is still away in England as a doctor in the war.

It also won't be the normal type of Christmas since, due to the war, most gifts will be of a practical nature and toys will be few and far between. In addition, Molly wonders if her father is going to send some gifts to her and the others in time for Christmas.

It's a very sedate type of story this time. The histori
Elaine Shipley-pope
Jun 26, 2015 Elaine Shipley-pope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Molly's Surprise: A Christmas Story is the third installment of her American Girl series. I found this one to be my favorite involving Molly. Its so sweet and cute. Christmas time has come and in America during that time Christmas was rough on families. Molly's family is greatly impacted by the fact that her father is still over with the war effort and will not be able to return home for the holidays. Eventually Molly and her siblings work through their sorrows and pull off a great Christmas for ...more
Fred Kohn
Apr 26, 2014 Fred Kohn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-readers
I am reading this series primarily because my granddaughter is named Molly. I am one generation separated from the Molly of this book (my mother would have grown up in Molly's time), yet while reading this book I found myself waxing nostalgic. Although we were already complaining about Christmas commercialism in the days of my youth, this book seems to highlight just how much we are losing. I hope that parents and children who read this book can catch a glimpse of that, and bring a bit of the ol ...more
Nov 04, 2009 Aubrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of surprises! I love it! Thank you to the author. I love you Valerie Tripp. Molly's dad had to go to England to be a doctor for the wounded soldiers, but Molly and her sister Jill and her brother Ricky and her other brother Brad and her Mom decide to make a great Christmas with their own kind of surprises. And they ended up learning on the radio that a couple of soldiers and doctors talked on the radio just to say a message to their families and before they were worried about Dad, but they ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Miri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's Christmastime, but this year Molly's father is away because of the war. Molly is hoping for a doll this Christmas, but because of the way Jill tells her to expect only practical presents, and even worse nothing has arrived from her father. This year Molly learns to keep hoping, even when things get tough, and that Christmas surprises are still real, but sometimes you have to help them along yourself.
The third book in the Molly, American Girl series and another enjoyable quick read about a young girl living in America during World War 2 while their father is away overseas. The story had a sweet sad feel to it since Molly's family was both missing and worried about their father, all wishing that he was home for Christmas or at the very least receive a letter so they knew he was o.k. Tissues were needed for sure.
Oct 21, 2008 Christie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth
We've started reading the American Girls stories and Hallie loves them. She loves the part at the back where the give examples and pictures from the time period that we've just read about. I've enjoyed the Molly series so far as it seems especially applicable right now. It focuses on doing without for a greater good, which in Molly's series is the war effort but is easily translatable to another cause.
This was probably my favorite in the Molly series when I was a kid. Re-reading it as an adult, I see that while it has a rather simplistic plot, it still manages to capture the mystery and longing of Christmas. I wanted to find out whether a Christmas box would arrive and what would be in it, but by the end realized that the most important thing wasn't the contents, but the fact that Molly's family was able to feel connected with their father even when he was far away serving in the war.
Casey Trump
American Girl books take you to a different time period dempending on which character you read about. Of course, girls will relate to these books much more than boys. Each of the AG books I have read teach about family, friendship and and issues most kids have in any decade. This particular book is about Molly in 1944. Her Dad is away at war and it's Christmas time. I think kids, especially girls, can easily relate to Molly if they have a family member in the service.
Jan 27, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's no surprise that this is our favorite Molly book so far--all of the American Girl Christmas stories seem to be our favorites. Abby loved all of the surprises that Molly and her family made happen for Christmas despite their dad being gone overseas. I liked how Molly finally got along (and conspired with ) her teenage sister Jill. A very sweet story.
Mary Bronson
Dec 29, 2013 Mary Bronson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Callie Stillion
Molly`s family is facing a disappointing Christmas. Father is missing because he is a doctor for World War II. But when the World War II radios go to talk about the doctors and nurses on the job for the war, Mr. McIntire says, 'And I`d like to mostly say, Merry Christmas to the Merry McIntires!" Molly is happy that Dad can be able to talk on the World War II radios! ...more
Kristine Hansen
Merry Christmas, Molly!

I think this is my favorite of all the American Girl books so far. Molly is so unbelievably real, the writing is stellar, and the story really hits home. MOlly's father is still overseas and it's Christmas and things aren't going right at all. But Molly and her siblings find a way to make Christmas special anyway.

Great book overall!
Rosaleen Leclair
I love this book!!!! I think this book is really good because the author makes you feel that your inside the book!!! I think thats really cool!! I really hope you enjoy this book!!!! this book was such a surprise!!! it makes your feel like you are a part of the book. you could really tell what was going on in the story!
Rosaleen Leclair
Oct 10, 2012 Rosaleen Leclair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lauren-guerra
I love this book! This might be my favorite book! It is so good! I couldn't stop reading this book! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves surprises! The author makes you want to be in the book! The american girl doll books are so well written! I think this the best american girl doll book!
Felicity The Magnificent
I liked this book because Molly's dad was a doctor and he was in the World War II in England to help the soldiers if they got hurt or sick. Molly thought that her dad would not send her a Christmas present, but at the end, she got a Christmas present. Each person in her family got a present, and she really wanted a doll, and her dad sent her a doll. -by Felicity
Katrina Miller
Oct 11, 2011 Katrina Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the first books I ever remember reading.

Molly is a girl growing up in Illinois during WWII. Her dad is a doctor overseas in London helping wounded soldiers. Every year, Molly's dad makes something special for Christmas. This year the family worries that the holidays won't be the same, until Molly and her older sister discover a surprise waiting for them.
Nov 05, 2011 Aubrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful story of a young family making the most of the holidays by thinking of others and putting their country ahead if themselves. There are so many heartfelt surprises. I loved this story!
An American Girl book. This is the only book in the Molly series where Molly is not completely selfish. She desires her father to be home but she makes allowances for it not to be a typical Christmas.

I think of all the American girls Molly is my least favorite.
Queen Susan the Gentle
Jill says this year they have to be realistic, for it is wartime and it is silly to expect "childish" things. But Molly doesn't think that is true, so she starts to help out with Christmas in any way she can. But soon she gets a surprise one morning in the snow...
Mike Gray
Mar 12, 2013 Mike Gray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
My first grader really enjoyed the whole Molly series. The content really kick started some good discussions about life during WWII. The historical aspects definitely help expose children to some additional perspectives on life in different generations.
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Valerie Tripp is a children's book author, best known for her work with the American Girl series.

She grew up in Mount Kisco, New York with three sisters. She is a reading expert with a Reading Master’s of Education degree from Harvard University. Since 1985 she has lived in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her husband teaches history at Montgomery College. She has been a writer for reading textbooks for t
More about Valerie Tripp...

Other Books in the Series

American Girls: Molly (6 books)
  • Meet Molly: An American Girl (American Girls: Molly, #1)
  • Molly Learns a Lesson: A School Story (American Girls: Molly, #2)
  • Happy Birthday, Molly: A Springtime Story (American Girls: Molly, #4)
  • Molly Saves the Day: A Summer Story (American Girls: Molly, #5)
  • Changes for Molly: A Winter Story (American Girls: Molly, #6)

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