Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Molly Pitcher: Young American Patriot

Molly Pitcher: Young American Patriot

Jason Glaser
Illustrator:  Todd Smith , Charles Barnett III , Bill Anderson 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Capstone Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-0736854863

Mary was a young woman who lived in the American colonies when the colonists were starting to resent, and struggle against, British rule. The Americans were tired of paying British taxes and not having a say in their government. War between Britain and the colonies broke out in 1775, and Mary got a job working for General Irvine in Pennsylvania. While she was working in the general's house, she met a young man called William Hays. The two young people fell in love, and when William decided that he had to serve his country, Mary married him and followed him into war.

Though women were not allowed to serve as soldiers, many women did travel with the army. They cooked, washed clothes, and tended to the injured. Though life in the army camp was hard, Mary stood by William, caring for him as best she could. Then, one day when he was in battle, Mary felt that she could no longer stand by and do nothing. Instead, she went onto the battlefield and helped her husband and other soldiers by bringing them water using a pitcher. When William collapsed at his post tending his cannon, Mary took over the job of loading and firing the huge gun. At that time, when men did not know the name of a woman, they called her ""Molly,"" and because of her service on the battlefield, it is said that the soldiers called Mary ""Molly Pitcher.""

This excellent story shines the spotlight on the women who risked their lives to serve their country during the American Revolutionary War. Though we cannot be sure that Mary was indeed the legendary Molly Pitcher, Mary and many other women like her did indeed help on the battlefield. They brought the soldiers supplies and fired rifles and cannons. Some women even donned uniforms and fought, disguised as men. This account of the Molly Pitcher legend is a tribute to all of these women.

With an excellent text, and engaging comic book style illustrations, this non-fiction graphic novel brings history to life.