As soon as Peggy McAllister hears about the Rattletop award for excellence in social studies, she’s determined to win it. When her teacher assigns the class a research paper on a famous American, she decides to write about a heroic woman and picks Molly Pitcher from the list.
But who was the real Molly Pitcher? Peggy quickly finds out there was no woman with that name who performed the feats attributed to her in legend. Now the search begins to track down who this woman really was. With the help of her greatgramps, his friend and author Mrs. Skinner, and her local librarian, Peggy searches for clues.
Peggy learns how to conduct research in the process, distinguishing between primary and secondary sources, tracking them in chronological order, and properly documenting them. She also discovers that teachers sometimes have their own agendas, and can’t always be relied on to help.
Written in the style of a detective story, In Search of Molly Pitcher pulls the reader into Peggy’s quest for information, always wondering what new piece of evidence she will uncover. Linda Grant De Pauw has turned a potentially dull and boring historical essay on a legendary American woman into an exciting mystery. Kids and adults will both find it an enjoyable read.
Reviewer: Alice Berger