Molly's Big Score

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 10/12/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite

Molly's Big Score by Katie Purcell is about Molly, a girl with cerebral palsy. She desperately wants to play in the upcoming soccer game, but she struggles with simply kicking a soccer ball. From there, she must make a choice: will she give up and do something else, or put her best efforts into her exercises and do her best? This book hits several levels for kids with challenges: family relationships, best friends, personal struggles, and faith in oneself to do something never done before.

With a great support network of family, Molly receives constant encouragement to complete her exercises—something she really doesn't want to do. But more than this, her struggles aren't whitewashed with trite, pithy, and worthless sayings. Instead, the mother provides a perspective that Molly simply doesn't have due to her young age and limited life experience. Her friend Anna is an anchor of support, providing positive input and encouragement along the way. These supportive influences help Molly rethink, refine her choices, and step into a new and successful stage in her life. No matter the struggles kids are going through, I think they can relate to this colorful story about self-doubts and negative emotions. But readers can also see that the steps to success are not automatic. They take time, effort, and energy, and not every day will be bright with happy stars. Molly's Big Score by Katie Purcell is an excellent blueprint for any young person struggling with life's daily challenges. Highly recommended.

Joe Wisinski

Molly’s Big Score by author Katie Purcell is a children’s picture book about a young girl with cerebral palsy. She wants to play in a big game for her neighborhood soccer team, but her condition makes that difficult, if not impossible. Molly doesn’t like doing her therapy exercises because she finds them boring, but her friend, Anna, offers to do them with her. Molly’s mother tells her that everyone has struggles, and Anna reminds Molly that she, Molly, helps her with math. Molly plays well in the soccer game. The book includes brief information about the causes and results of cerebral palsy and information about what those who have the condition can do to help improve it. Author Katie Purcell holds a doctorate in physical therapy and has worked with special needs children for more than 15 years. The book is illustrated by Maggie Glisan.

This is a wonderful book for all children, especially those who have a physical or emotional condition. Molly’s Big Score will help teach children that everyone is the same, even if they’re “different,” and encourage them to stay positive, work hard, and rely on the advice and support of family and friends. Because author Katie Purcell has worked with children with special needs for many years, she is ideally qualified to write the book. The charming illustrations by Maggie Glisan complement the text perfectly. Purcell says she intends her book for children from 5 to 7 years old. However, younger children would also enjoy having the book read to them and would like Glisan’s illustrations. I highly recommend Molly’s Big Score to children, their parents, and their grandparents. It’s a delightful and edifying picture book.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Everyone has difficulties doing certain things. Some people need help with their homework, while others have trouble making friends. For Molly, it’s her legs. She has cerebral palsy, and whenever she runs or tries to kick the soccer ball, she falls over. There’s a community soccer game coming up, and Molly really wants to be part of the team. When her best friend, Anna, helps her with the exercises, Molly gains strength and more control in her legs and gains confidence. Even so, she’s nervous when the day arrives, but she’s game to try anyway.

Katie Purcell’s picture book story, Molly’s Big Score, is a touching, heartwarming story about a little girl with a physical disability. Molly has cerebral palsy, which limits the mobility in her legs. As she demonstrates her growing frustration, family and friends pitch in to help, demonstrating how love and caring can help. This is a great educational story for all children as they learn how to accept others and help those in need. As Anna points out, Molly helps her with math, so why shouldn’t she reciprocate and help Molly strengthen her legs. It’s all about teamwork and inclusion and understanding one’s own limitations as well as those of others. The illustrations are simple but bright and colorful, and the plot is developed mostly through dialogue. At the end of the story, the author explains cerebral palsy and how it affects people differently. Beautifully presented and told. Loved it!