Author: Patty Lovell
Illustrator: David Catrow
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: August 2001
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Molly Lou Melon may be tiny, clumsy, buck-toothed, and with a voice "like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor," but she doesn't mind. Her grandmother has utmost confidence in her, and tells her at every turn to believe in herself. "Sing out clear and strong and the world will cry tears of joy," Grandma says. But Molly Lou's self-assurance is put to the test when she moves to a new town, away from her friends and beloved grandmother. During her first week of school, Ronald Durkin taunts Molly Lou Melon in the dull-witted but sharp-edged manner of career bullies, calling her "shrimpo" and "bucky-toothed beaver." Our heroine barely flinches as she systematically sets out to prove herself, and Ronald Durkin ends up feeling pretty foolish.
What I Think: Molly Lou Melon has stuck with me since I first read about her a couple of years ago. I love her spunk and I love her grandmother's advice. Molly Lou Melon is unique and she has to remember how special she is when she moves to a new town. I never had to be the new kid in school, but there were times when going somewhere or doing something new for the first time would freak me out. My dad always gave me great advice growing up and I really believe everyone could benefit from an adult who champions them. Someone who listens to problems and offers endless positive feedback and support.
My dad loved this quote: "Nothing is impossible, if broken down into manageable segments, stabilized by balance, and purified by belief." He doesn't know where he read it but I can't start to count how many times I have heard him say it. Anytime I was nervous or worried about something, he would recite it to me.
Here is maybe the best part, if I ever made a mistake and was lamenting over something, he would say, "When you're dumb, you suffer." It sounds mean but it's not. It just makes sense. Think things through and make good decisions because if you don't, you can only blame yourself.
Luckily for Molly Lou Melon, she has a supportive grandmother who gives her lots of great wisdom about how to be herself and to stand tall in the face of adversity. Readers can learn from Molly Lou Melon and her grandmother. I found that I couldn't not think about my dad and all the great advice he gave me as I was growing up. Do you have any advice that a mentor from your childhood shared with you?
Read Together: K - 6
Read Alone: 3 - 6
Read With: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, One and Zero by Kathryn Otoshi, Wonder by RJ Palacio, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Snatch of Text:
"Molly Lou Melon was often fumble fingered.
She didn't mind. Her grandma had told her,
'Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too.'"Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Quotations as Attention Grabbers
Writing Prompts: Write about someone who is special to you in your life. Write about someone who supports you. Use your favorite quote as a hook, and then describe how the quote impacted your life.
Topics Covered: Family, Adversity, Bullies, Character, Friendship, Being True to Yourself, Quotations as Attention Grabbers
Jen *hearts* It: