When I think about some of the most ironic gifts I’ve ever received, Molly McIntire’s American Girl series is definitely right up there. Given to me by an aunt who, graciously, wanted to encourage a love of reading also successfully introduced 7-year-old Rachel to one of her very first feminist icons. I find this to be ironic because the same aunt has also successfully criticized me a few times for the feminist ideals I hold as an adult.
But I digress.
Molly McIntire is a girl growing up in the United States during World War II. Her dad is fighting overseas, her mom works outside the home to help with the war effort, and Molly herself deals with some very real challenges associated with the war.
I read these books until they were completely worn out. But as I think through the influence Molly had on me, the knowledge that continuing to try despite things being really difficult is extremely powerful. Molly is tenacious, innovative, and really embodies this quote from Ruth Gordon, “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.”