These Depression era schooldays are considerably enlivened by the earnest poetic efforts Mollie herself treasures as The Golden Poems of Mollie Stone. Though Mollie's lawyer father hasn't been bringing home much cash, Mollie longs for the second hand bicycle in Higgins' toyshop window (""Oh, rusty-fendered bicycle/ As shining as an icicle/ Please wait for me until I'm rich./ I'll never ride you in a ditch""). When a poetry contest with a ten dollar first prize is announced at school, Mollie enters one of her best ""holiday"" verses, ""God, Please be my Valentine,"" only to fired herself accused of plagiarism by the PTA president Mrs. Swenson. Later, after an encounter with a down and out man at the railway station, Mollie writes a much better poem which she reads at a backporch show given by her friends Florette and Elaine (collectively known as the Songbirds and nursing serious amateur hour ambitions), and Mrs. Swenson's daughter -- a very fat, solitary girt who remains a complete enigma to Molly -- manages to convince her mother of Mollie's innocence. Mollie's growing awareness of the injustices of the Depression is sometimes rather forced (there's a minimally developed incident involving the shoplifting of destitute, parentless ""cousin"" Florence). But one can laugh at Mollie's verse and still enjoy her effusive imagination.