Molly, a grade schooler with a few quirks, gets help from her two best friends in solving a problem that’s bothering her.
Molly likes to count things, shuns food not of certain colors, and eats some other foods only in even numbers. Her parents are both aware of her extreme focus and completely accepting of it: “That’s just who you are,” they say. Molly’s best friends, one a perceptive black girl and the other a white boy with an expansive imagination—Molly is biracial, with a black mom and white dad—are just as understanding. When Molly becomes consumed with the need to count the number of Skittles in a big jar on their principal’s desk, the two naturally pitch in to help her find a way to get into a little trouble—just enough to lead to an office visit—and then methods for both luring the principal away and giving Molly the opportunity to complete the count. Their clever problem-solving skills are as much on display as their empathy with Molly’s unique personality. Large-print chapters are brief and illustration-rich, and each concludes with a series of milestone boxes that show emergent readers how much of the book they’ve already gotten through. With likable characters, an amusing situation, and lots of reinforcement for readers, this effort is sure to be a hit. What underlies Molly’s quirks is never explored within the story, leaving her behavior open to interpretation.
An empathetic introduction to a new series of early chapter books. (Fiction. 5-7)