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Brave Emily

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Brave Emily is the companion book for Emily Bennett; it is considered an extension of the Molly series. It was included with the Emily doll when the doll was available for purchase; with the collection's archival, it can be purchased separately.

Characters

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Only in Brave Emily

Chapter by Chapter Summary

Chapter One: Just-Beginning Friends

Molly and Emily are in Molly's room. Molly is doing math and Emily was writing a letter. When Molly is done with her paper, she gives it to Emily so she can check Molly's answers. Molly crosses her fingers. Emily tells her that she didn't make a mistake and that she did "Jolly Good", and Molly starts jumping on her bed in excitement and tells Emily that she could never have done it without her. Emily tells Molly that she's welcome, but Molly is being too loud to hear Emily. Then Ricky comes in and asks what all the noise is about, and Molly shows Ricky her math paper. She says that it's the nine times tables and she got them all right, but Ricky doesn't think it's a big deal. Molly says that it's a big deal to her and that she has never done it before. Then she says that Emily showed her and tells Emily to tell Ricky. Emily is shy of Ricky because she is an only child, but since Ricky was waiting, she gets some courage and tells Ricky how she did it. Molly tells how the ten times tables are done and asks Emily if it's right, and Emily says yes. Ricky squints in thought, and then leaves, but not without saying that Molly's friend is pretty smart, for a girl. Molly says that her friend is smart for anybody. Emily is pleased that Ricky called her smart and pleased that Molly called her Molly's friend. Emily thinks that if Molly says that she is her friend, than it must be true. Emily hoped that her and Molly were at least Just Beginning Friends. Emily thought Molly was a wonderful girl and she wanted to be Molly's friend very much.

Then Molly told Emily that Molly's mom was home and wanted to show her her math sheet. She waved it like a flag and told Emily to come. Emily agreed cheerily, and she followed Molly into the kitchen, which was bright and warm. All the rooms in the house seemed warm and bright to Emily because in England, houses were cold because coal for heating was scarce. Rooms didn't have much light and the windows were covered with blackout curtains at nighttime so that the German bombers couldn't see light to drop bombs on. Mrs. McIntire was sitting in her Red Cross uniform at the kitchen table. Jill and Brad were there, too. Mrs. McIntire greeted the girls and said that Jill, Brad, and herself were having some toast and asked if Molly and Emily would like to join them. Emily said yes and sat next to Brad, who, as soon as Emily sat down, slipped half of his toast to Emily. Emily had noticed that Brad had felt it was his responsibility to make sure that Emily was never hungry or upset, but notes he was only five years old. But as she hated to be made fun of herself, Emily didn't laugh at Brad and thanked him as she took the toast.

Meanwhile, Molly shows off her homework to her mom and Jill, who both compliment Molly on her improvements. Molly asks Emily how she got so good at math and Emily blushes at the compliment. She tells Molly she likes numbers because they are precise and never lie. Thus, there is only one true answer that Emily could be sure of. Molly sighs that while Emily could be sure of her answers, Molly couldn't. She tells Emily she absolutely has to find a way for Molly to remember what 8 times 7 equals. Emily tells Molly "Very well," and grows determined to not disappoint Molly. Mrs. McIntire tells the girls it's bedtime and asks them to help Brad brush his teeth. Brad grabs Emily's hand and tells her he's good with numbers as well and counts up to 8. This gives Emily an idea for how Molly could remember 8 times 7 and tells Molly so. Molly laughs and explains to Emily she was kidding when she told Emily she had to find a way. Emily grows embarrassed and sighs. She thinks how it seemed they spoke different kinds of English with different names for different things, such as sweater instead of jumper, and the different ways Americans pronounced various letters in words such as 'r' in girl. The most difficult thing for Emily was trying to figure out when Molly and her friends were joking and exaggerating and when they were being serious. Molly asks Emily what Emily thought up and when Emily shares it, Molly is so happy she gives Emily a hug. She thanks Emily, saying she could "really count on you!" Molly asks if Emily gets her pun and Emily, enjoying puns herself, says "When it comes to math, it all adds up." Molly laughs and tells Emily to change so they could look at Emily's princess scrapbook.

After the girls change, they open up the scrapbook and a tan teller falls out. Molly asks if this was Emily's ration book and Emily nods. Emily couldn't trust herself to talk as she begun to feel homesick for England and her parents when she spotted the book. Molly notices Emily's mom wrote a note on the back and asks Emily what it says. Although Emily had already memorized the note by heart, she read "Emily, darling girl, be good. Be tidy. Be obedient. Be honest. And most of all, be polite and grateful. Unrationed love, Mum." Emily swallows hard and Molly mentions Emily must miss her parents. Emily nods and Molly assures her that her parents miss her too and must love her enough to part with her and send her to America. Emily begins to feel better and Molly bets her own mother would give the same advice if Molly left. Molly shares that she has a ration book as well and learned in school that rations in England were stricter. Emily tells a little about her life to Molly: due the rationing, Emily had her own vegetable garden like the one Mrs. Gilford had in her backyard. Molly says Mrs. Gilford loves it when Emily helps out in the garden and Emily mentions working in it reminds her of home.
Brave Emily 1

Molly looks at the scrapbook and admires the princesses curls. Emily wishes she had their curls or Jill's glamorous waves, but Molly tells Emily her hair was already pretty the way it was. She points to a picture of Emily standing with an old man in front of a big building holding shovels and points out Emily's shiny hair. She asks if Emily was in front of Windsor Castle in that picture and Emily grows homesick once more. She explains to Molly in short sentences that was her 'Grandy' and Emily in front of his house planting a tree for Emily's birthday. Molly is impressed by the size and Emily says her grandfather invited a boy's school evacuated from London into his house. Emily also shares that her grandfather said they had to do all they can to help England win the war. Emily pulls out some dog tags her grandfather got from the last World War and gave to Emily before she left. Molly mentions her dad also had dog tags as he was a doctor for the army. Pleased to find another similarity between the two, Emily says her father is a doctor as well. Trusting Molly would understand, she explains her Grandy gave her the tags to help remind her to be brave and help England. Emily couldn't see how she could do both all the way in America, but Molly says she thinks Emily was brave for being so far from home. Molly puts the dog tags on Emily, saying it'll be a reminder for Emily to look for ways to be brave and help England. Molly offers her help to look for ways as well and Emily thanks her. Molly thanks Emily once again for the math help and says it will be great having Emily here, causing Emily. This time, Emily knew her Just Beginning Friend meant what she said.

The chapter ends with a letter to Emily's parents where she writes about Molly and how she was going to help Emily find a way to be brave and help England.

Chapter Two: Hot Cross Buns

Emily knew that she wasn't brave, thinking she even had difficulty pretending to be brave. She had to act brave waving goodbye to her parents, act brave when riding a ship far from home that could be hit by a torpedo and act brave when she saw a stranger pick her up instead of her aunt. Emily thought the hardest time to act brave was when she went to the McIntire house for the first time, but the hardest time, Emily thinks, was her first day at Molly's school. She didn't like being the center of attention and she was self-conscious when others gathered around her, asked questions, and imitated her accent. Emily was also unsure how to describe to Molly and her friends the terror of sleeping underground and seeing houses get bombed when Molly was so carefree and safe. Emily felt if she told the truth, she would appear like a complaining crybaby and, as her Grandy said, the British just grin and bear it.

But grinning and bearing it feels as dishonest as acting brave to Emily, like that Friday morning at breakfast. Emily was pleased with her new outfit and Molly's words last night when she finds out they were having oatmeal for breakfast. Ricky complains they had oatmeal everyday and Mrs. Gilford explains she wants their guest Emily to have what she was used to and Emily had oatmeal everyday. Emily felt torn: Mrs. Gilford was right that she was used to oatmeal, but she was sick of having it. Knowing it would be rude to say her thought, she thanks Mrs. Gilford for the oatmeal and eats. Emily knew Jilly, Ricky, and Molly were annoyed by her, so she was grateful when Brad ate a spoon of oatmeal and declared he liked it. Ricky disagrees with Brad and is undaunted by Mrs. Gilford's glare. Emily is shocked how American kids are outspoken and cheeky, and she watches with fascination as Ricky poured twice the amount of her daily milk ration into his oatmeal and sliced a banana, an exotic fruit to Emily, into his bowl. When offered seconds for breakfast, Emily explains in England, there are posters saying 'Don't take more than you can eat.' Ricky jokes in his case, "I always want to eat more than I'm allowed to take!", and everyone laughs.

At the playground at school, Susan admires Emily's new outfit. While Emily is embarrassed by the attention, she is also shyly proud to have her new dress admired. Linda notices that Emily's cardigan wasn't buttoned all the way up, unlike how she buttoned up her sweater all the way up as if she was cold when they first saw her. Linda shares that at first Emily appeared cold and stand-offish, but Susan says Emily was more stand-backish. She tells Emily she was glad Emily wasn't a show off and Molly explains it took time for the both of them to get used to each other. Emily agrees with Molly, and they repeat what Emily says. Emily felt cheerful and warm knowing she wasn't being made fun of when others repeated what she just. She understood they were just being playful. Emily wasn't sure if she was used to Americans as she was till taken aback by how loud and rowdy her classmates could be.

In the classroom, Ms. Campbell asks for their attention and Emily complies, wanting her teacher to like her. Ms. Campbell smiles, gives Emily a wink, and mentions to the others that Emily was ready. Eventually everyone quiets down and Ms. Campbell asks her students some of the ways kids could help the war effort. Kid give off a list of what they do and their teacher explains when they help their soldiers, they're being patriotic. She then asks the class what makes them feel patriotic and others give their answers. Ms. Campbell asks Emily how people both in America and England feel patriotic. Eager to answer the question, Emily says music makes her patriotic and everyone murmurs in agreement. Happy to find the answer she was looking for, Ms. Campbell tells her class of the PTA's decision that every class would get an instrument on loan. Their class is given the flutophone and everyone, including Emily, cheers.

At the end of the afternoon, Ms. Campbell is tired and worn out after the music lesson. The students played their flutophones before she finished handing them all out, and she had to flip the lights on and off to get their attention. She then tried to teach them Hot Cross Buns and while Emily couldn't hear her own playing, no one seemed to be getting the notes. Ms. Campbell gives the class practice cards and asks the class to practice outside of school as well. Emily, Molly, Susan, and Linda dash out of the classroom and run to Molly's house after school ends, all eager to start practicing their new instruments. They show off their new flutophones to Mrs. Gilford and when all four of them play the first three notes, she sends them to practice in the garage.
Brave Emily 2

In the garage, Molly suggests they all play in turns. Susan volunteers Emily to play first and Emily blushes, saying she couldn't play at all. Linda and Molly assure Emily they are all beginners and they all stink. Not wanting to let Molly down, Emily plays the song on her flutophone. As she finishes, the others look at Emily in shocked silence, then applaud. Molly compliments Emily's skills at the flutophone, saying she was good at it as well as math, but Emily is nervous with the praise. She knew she wasn't musical at all and managing to pull of the simple song was just a fluke. She tries to tell the girls, but Susan says Emily was "being 'not-a-show-off', as usual." Linda begins to play her instrument to show off her lack of skill, cutting off Emily's protests. Secretly however, Emily enjoyed the admiration and felt like a full-fledged friend when Molly and the others admired her. Emily thinks if she lets them believe she's good at music, then she was only exaggerating a little like the Americans did, and there was no harm in that.

The chapter ends with another one of Emily's letters to her parents, saying how she got a flutophone and how she was still looking for ways to be brave and help England.

Chapter Three: Practice Makes Perfect

Emily took her grandfather's words to heart and she would keep his dog tags under her pillow every night in hope the next day would give her a chance to be brave and help England. Emily found it hard to help England though, because she was so swept up in her American life. She had chores, homework, and since Molly, Linda and Susan wanted to be her friend, Emily spent as much time with them as possible. Over the weekend, they practiced the flutophone diligently until they grew bored of the same song by Sunday and practiced for only 15 minutes. Molly tells Emily she hopes they would learn a new song tomorrow, but Emily secretly hopes they don't as it would reveal Emily was no good at music.

After another breakfast of oatmeal, the two head off to school. Ms. Campbell tells the students first thing to put away their instruments and then asks them how soldiers use the animal's survival technique of hiding from their predators. Molly explains about camouflage and Howie asks Emily if her ship to America was camouflaged. Emily recalls how her ship to America was grey in order to not stand out, then Ms. Campbell takes the attention away from Emily by scolding a student for looking at his flutophone. When the music lessons started, Molly, Susan and Linda put their heads together and whispered. They tell Ms. Campbell about Emily's flutophone skills and recommend her to hear Emily play. Everyone looks at Emily and she shrinks into her chair, embarrassed. Ms. Campbell asks Emily to stand up and play, and she complies. She manages to hit the right notes and after her performance, everyone claps. Ms. Campbell compliments Emily, but Emily only grew more worried. The whole class was now under the impression Emily could play the flutophone, and she was unsure how they would react when they found out Emily could not play.

The class is taught 'America the Beautiful' on their flutophones and Emily has a harder time figuring out the tune to the song. Everyone plays terribly however, and Ms. Campbell tells the class' practice makes perfect'. Emily couldn't practice after school with her friends, however, as they had tap-dancing lessons. Molly explains they had a performance coming up, and she invites Emily to join their lessons. The thought of dancing in front of a crowd terrifies Emily, so she declines the offer. Emily goes home and begins to practice her flutophone. Brad keeps Emily company in the garage with cracker snack. Emily doesn't mind Brad listening to her practice as he thought everything Emily played sounded right. After a while, Emily feels discouraged and asks Brad how long she practiced. Brad is unsure how to tell time, so Emily goes to the kitchen clock and sees she only practiced 15 minutes. Emily says it wasn't very long, but Brad assures her she could practice some more when Molly got home. He invites Emily to help with the Victory Garden, and despite a corner of her mind telling Emily she should practice some more, Emily agrees to help.
Brave Emily 3

As Brad plays in the dirt and Emily helps in the garden with Mrs. Gilford, she thinks of why she loves gardening. She enjoyed the smell of the Earth, the feel of the sturdy seedlings in her hand, and she enjoyed the sense that something was beginning despite most of the growing happening underground. As they work, Emily shares some more about her life in England to Mrs. Gilford, and she explains the lack of some foods. Brad offers to send his eggs to England so she could have mayonnaise again. Emily smiles at Brad, wishing she could send some eggs, but the numbers of them would have to multiply significantly to make a difference. Mrs. Gilford announces it's time to get ready for dinner.

As Emily finishes setting the table, Molly returns home and tells Emily she already practiced her flutophone at her dancing lessons. Emily is secretly relieved when Molly says she, Linda, and Susan would do most of their practicing while waiting for their part in the dance rehearsal for the rest of the week. Molly adds they weren't nearly as good as Emily and practicing with her would just bring Emily down. Emily tires to tell Molly the truth about her ability, but Molly goes on to compliment Emily's performance at school. Molly shares her feelings of pride, saying she felt like bragging to the whole world that Emily was her friend and she was happy about it. Emily smiles weakly as Molly pulls out a letter she wrote herself for Emily's parents. Emily felt cold as she read Molly's letter and realized she couldn't tell Molly the truth now.

The chapter ends with Molly's letter to Emily's parents, introducing herself and telling how proud she was Emily for her flutophone and math skills.

Chapter Four: 45 x 10 = 450

Emily tells Molly some tips on multiplying the 10 times tables on the way to school and beams when Molly compliments her once more. Emily wishes she could multiply the minutes on her practice card so she would be completely happy. While Emily had practiced the flutophone every day, she could never stand it for more than 15 minutes and she didn't seem to improve despite the practice. Her only consolation was that it seemed impossible to tell who played well and who played poorly at lessons.

But Emily was surprised that afternoon when Ms. Campbell announces in the middle of the song that someone was off-tune. Woody, who stood next to Emily, pointed out she was the one off-tune and Emily grows embarrassed. Howie teases Emily and tells her he thought she was good player. Molly, Susan and Linda stand up for Emily and Ms. Campbell starts the song over again. Emily is too mortified to play however, so she pretends to play her flutophone for the rest of the lesson. Ms. Campbell tells the class afterwards to practice twice as long as usual and Emily is determined to do so, even if it meant revealing the truth to Molly. But Molly, Susan and Linda were busy all weekend due to their tap dancing recital practice and despite her intentions, Emily still only played 15 minutes each day.
Brave Emily 4

On a rainy Thursday, the class had an indoor recess in the gym. Molly and her friends show off their tap dance to Emily and Emily claps for them. After they finish, Susan adds their performance is better when they have their tap-shoes and instruments. Linda complains their dance is too short, but Susan points out because of its short length, it gave them lots of time to practice their flutophones. Molly comments Ms. Campbell was going to check their practice cards today and Emily asks how long the girls practiced. "Oh, hours everyday." Linda comments and Emily begins to panic. As the girls go back to dancing, Emily wonders if she was the only one in the class who barely practiced and begins to think that if Molly finds out how little Emily practiced and that she wasn't skilled at the flutophone, she wouldn't want to be Emily's friend. Emily runs back to the empty classroom and changes the 1's on her card into 4's so it appeared she practiced 45 minutes each day.

Emily puts away her card into her desk as the rest of the class enters. Molly asks where Emily went to and Emily lies that she was practicing her multiplication. The class pass their practice cards forward and begin to work on their multiplication practice books. Emily, who usually breezed through the problems, was too worried to do much work. Ms. Campbell tells the class to put away their work and writes '45x10=?' on the board. She asks who could solve it and Molly answers it before anyone else could. Ms. Campbell comments that Molly must be studying her times tables, and Molly gives credit to Emily. The teacher mentions they were lucky to have Emily in the class as she goes on to say one student practiced the most out of everyone with 450 minutes over the past 10 days. She tells the class the student was Emily and everyone cheers for her. Emily wonders how this happened then realizes Linda was joking when she said they practiced for hours.

To make matters worse, Ms. Campbell announces a flutophone performance the class will perform on Saturday for the whole school and the PTA. She asks the class who they think will get a solo and the class yell Emily's name. Emily tells the whole class she was a terrible flutophone player, but the others put it off as modesty. Emily starts to panic and wishes she was back on the boat heading to America in the middle of the ocean. Emily thinks she will play poorly at the performance and reveal she was a liar and fraud while humiliating herself and thus no one would ever want to be her friend.

That night, Emily was too upset to sleep, but didn't want Molly to hear her crying. Emily grabbed the dog tags and went to the garage to cry. She then hears a voice whispering to her and Emily turns around to see Molly with her bathrobe. Molly mentions she thought Emily would be cold, and she puts her arm around her, asking Emily if she was homesick. Emily says its worse than that; she lied. She tells Molly the truth about everything and admits her fear that if she was a bad flutophone player, Molly wouldn't want to be her friend. Molly apologizes for appearing as if all she cared about Emily was her flutophone skills. She explains to Emily that friends don't stop being friends because of a single mistake and assures her that she likes Emily for a lot of reasons, but mostly because she was Emily. Emily almost smiles, then Molly tells her they need to come up with a plan and the garage was too cold for that. Emily asks about the plan and Molly says she, Linda and Susan have to see how they could help Emily for her solo. When Emily asks if they were going to help her, Molly says "That's what friends are for!" and Emily gives a smile.

Back in bed, Emily thanks Molly for being her friend and says she never pretended to be Molly's friend. Molly jokes that she isn't like oatmeal and further jokes that the Red Cross could send oatmeal to England with the turnips. Molly suddenly gets a plan to help with Emily's solo and help England at the same time. The one condition is that Emily had to be very, very brave, and Emily agrees to it.

The next day, the four girls tell Ms. Campbell the truth about the practice card after school. Ms. Campbell she understood the problem of performing with little practice, but the programs had already been printed and Emily had to do her solo. Molly asks if she, Linda and Susan could stand behind Emily during the performance. Catching on to the girl's plan to camouflage Emily's mistakes, she allows them. For the rest of the time up to the show, Emily practices so much with her friends she could do most of the song with little mistakes. She was still relieved to have her friends stand behind her during the show.
Brave Emily 5

Just before their performance on Saturday, Susan compliments the new dress Mrs. Gilford made for her and Emily thanks her. The performance begins and the entire class plays 'America the Beautiful'. Then Emily steps forward for her solo with Molly, Susan and Linda standing behind her. During Emily's solo, Molly and her friends did their tap dance routine and Susan clashed her cymbals at the difficult spots to hide Emily's mistakes.

When the song was over, the audience clapped and cheered, and Howie and Woody thumped Emily's back. Emily then did the bravest thing she had ever done in her life. She introduced herself to the crowd and asked them to donate canned food to England. The four girls preform a little jingle promoting the donations. Afterwards, everyone agrees that Emily's speech was the best part of the show and Emily was pleased to hear how many people promised to donate. Emily overhears a woman tell Molly "The little English girl spoke right up for England, didn't she?" and Emily hears Molly's response "Oh yes, my friend Emily is very brave."

The chapter ends with Emily's letter to her parents, asking them to tell her Grandy she finally found a way to be brave and help England as she tells her story.

Looking Back: Children of War

Discusses the lives of children outside of the US during World War Two. Topics include:

  • How dangerous London was because of The Blitz
  • Where British children were evacuated for their safety, from the English countryside to overseas.
  • How many children were able to evacuate from Britain during the war.
  • Life of British children in America and their homesickness.
  • The Kindertransport, which tried to bring thousands of Jewish children to England.
  • Why Japanese Americans were interned during the war, and what Eleanor Roosevelt did about it.
  • How children dealt with the changes the war brought.

Items associated with Brave Emily

Trivia

References

  1. Pg. 3: "Molly had been very nice and polite ever since Emily had arrived six days ago." Emily's first letter is dated March 30, 1944.
  2. Emily's last letter at the end of Chapter 4.

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