Molly and the Movie Star

Short story collection published in 2006; author Valerie Tripp; illustrator Susan McAliley, Nick Backes, Philip Hood, or Keith Skeen


Molly's class is collecting money to buy a war bond (similar to a savings bond but the money goes specifically toward the war effort). There's going to be a big rally to encourage more people to buy bonds. The star attraction is movie star Melody Moore, Molly's favorite actress. And Molly gets to hand the money to her, on stage! She's so distracted by the excitement that the chores she's assigned to earn her share of the money are harder than they should be. Molly internally gripes about how the housekeeper Mrs. Gilford doesn't care about fun at all. But she slogs through her chores and earns her share of the money. Inspired by Moore's most recent movie, Molly puts the class money in a sock and practices a special salute from the film.

But the next morning, the sock is gone. Molly and her siblings search the house top to bottom, but can't find it. Finally Molly writes a note explaining that the money is lost and that she'll pay it back. She'll have to give that to Moore in the afternoon instead of the actual money. As her turn draws near, Molly grows more and more miserable. But just in time, Mrs. Gilford pulls up in a car. Molly's mother had accidentally put the sock with the mending, so Mrs. Gilford had taken it home. With a new-found appreciation for Mrs. Gilford, Molly delivers the money in the sock and performs the special salute with Moore.

Looking Back

During war time, movies offered children a welcome escape from the stress of day-to-day life. Some movies were fantastical sci-fi adventures, or exciting movies like Lassie Come Home. Others were about the War from the perspective of troops overseas, or families on the homefront. Movie stars took their jobs seriously, knowing that people relied on the escapism and that they could use their star power to encourage their fans.


Why does Molly use one of her brother's socks instead of her own?

I can never read the word "matinee" without initially thinking it's "manatee."

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