When the house burns down and all the dolls and the last $5.00 go up in smoke, Mary Ellen's Momma finds material in "Aunt Lois' cloth box" and tells her daughter, "Today we are going to make you a new dolly."
This dolly, with her "beautiful sky blue eyes, delicate nose" becomes Betty Doll. Betty Doll is with Mary Ellen as the new house is built. Betty Doll goes with Mary Ellen for her first day at the Smith School on Girard Road. Both were "excited, but scared."
A blizzard comes and Betty Doll falls out of Mary Ellen's backpack. Will Mary Ellen ever see Betty Doll again?
A hero, Betty Doll is found and goes on to more adventures in Chicago and for many more special occasions and life changes as Mary Ellen grows up and becomes a young woman.
The story of Mary Ellen's life is told in a letter. Every vignette with Betty Doll comes out in writing and the reader is Tricia who has just discovered Betty Doll and this letter in her mother's things. Her mother passed away a year before and Tricia is just now feeling ready to open her mother's boxes and in doing so she discovers Betty Doll and the letter which is addressed to Tricia.
This is a wonderful story about the connection between mothers and daughters. You can hear just how eagerly Tricia reads the anecdotes and listens to the challenges and joys of her mother's life including the loss of Mary Ellen's own mother.
Her mother died of cancer and she shares the secret now with her daughter that on the day she heard her diagnosis, she got Betty Doll down off the shelf, held her and cried with her. Betty Doll was with her every step of the way. Betty Doll also held the memories of the precious days of her life.
Betty Doll lives on.
38 pages Ages 6-10 978-0142401965
- Recommended by: Barb