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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 was able to be purchased separately until it was retired.



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 is writing a letter. When Molly is done with her homework, she gives it to Emily so she can check Molly's answers. Molly crosses her fingers as Emily overlooks it; then Emily tells her that she didn't make a mistake and that she did jolly good. 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 her.

Ricky comes in and asks what all the noise is about. Molly shows Ricky her math paper, explaining that it's the nine times tables and she got them all right. Ricky says he 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 and that Emily showed her, then tells Emily to tell Ricky. Emily is shy around Ricky because she is an only child; however, since Ricky is waiting, she gets some courage and tells Ricky how she did it. Molly explains how the ten times tables are done and asks Emily if it's right, and Emily says yes. Ricky says 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 a friend--and that if Molly says so, then it must be true. Emily hopes that she and Molly are at least Just Beginning Friends, as she thinks Molly is a wonderful girl and she wants to be Molly's friend very much.

Molly tells Emily that Molly's mom is home; she wants to show her her math sheet and, waving it like a flag, tells Emily to come with her. Emily agrees and follows Molly into the bright and warm kitche. All the rooms in the house are warm and bright to Emily as in England, houses are cold and dark: coal for heating has been scarce and the windows are always covered with blackout curtains at nighttime so that the German bombers can't see by their light to drop bombs. Mrs. McIntire is sitting at the kitchen table, wearing her Red Cross uniform, along with Jill and Brad; she greets the girls and says that the three of them are having toast. She asks if Molly and Emily would like to join them. Emily says yes and sits next to Brad; as soon as Emily does, he slips half of his toast to Emily. Emily has noticed that Brad feels it's his responsibility to make sure that Emily isn't hungry or upset, even though he's only five years old. But as Emily hates to be made fun of herself, she doesn't laugh at Brad and instead thanks him and takes the toast.

Molly shows off her homework to Mom and Jill, who both compliment Molly on her improvements. Molly asks Emily how she became so good at math and Emily blushes at the compliment before explaining that she likes numbers because they are precise and never lie, so there is only one true answer to be sure of. Molly sighs and says that while Emily can be sure of her answers, Molly can't; Emily absolutely has to find a way for her to remember what eight times seven equals. Emily says very well, 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 eight. This gives Emily an idea for how Molly can remember eight times seven, and tells Molly so. Molly laughs and says she was kidding when she said she had to find a way. Emily, embarrassed, sighs. To her, she and Molly seem to speak different kinds of English. There are different names for different things (such as the American sweater instead of the English jumper, and the different ways Americans pronounced various letters in words such as 'r' in girl). But the most difficult thing for Emily is trying to figure out when Molly and her friends are joking and exaggerating and when they are being serious. Molly asks Emily what she thought up; once Emily shares it, Molly is so happy she gives Emily a hug. She thanks Emily and says she can "really count on her", then asks if Emily gets her pun. Emily, who enjoys puns herself replies that when it comes to math, it all adds up. Molly laughs and says they should change so they can look at Emily's princess scrapbook.

After the girls change into pajamas, they open up the scrapbook and tan paper falls out. Molly asks if this is Emily's ration book and Emily nods. She can't trust herself to talk about it, starting to feel homesick for England and her parents at seeing the book. Molly notices that Emily's mom wrote a note on the back and asks what it says. Emily has already memorized the note by heart, but reads it anyways: 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 says she must miss her parents. Emily nods. Molly assures her that her parents miss her too and must love her enough to part with her and send her to America. Emily starts to feel better; Molly bets that her own mother would give the same advice if Molly had to leave. She shares that she has a ration book as well and learned in school that rations in England were stricter than America. Emily tells a little about her life to Molly: due to rationing, Emily had her own vegetable garden like the one Mrs. Gilford has in her backyard. Molly says Mrs. Gilford loves it when Emily helps out in the garden; Emily mentions working in it reminds her of home.


Molly reassures Emily with her Grandy's dog tags.

Molly looks at the scrapbook and admires the princesses' curls. Emily wishes she had their curls or Jill's glamorous waves; Molly tells Emily her hair is already pretty the way it is. Molly then points to a picture of Emily standing with an old man in front of a big building; the two are holding shovels. She points out Emily's shiny hair and asks if they are in front of Windsor Castle in the picture. Emily grows homesick again and explains--in short sentences--that the elderly man is her 'Grandy' and they are in in front of his house planting a tree for Emily's birthday. Molly is impressed by the size of the tree. Emily says her grandfather invited a boy's school that was evacuated from London to stay at his house, and that he said they have to do all they can to help England win the war. She pulls out a set of dog tags her grandfather had from the prior World War that he gave to Emily before she left. Molly mentions her dad also has dog tags, since he is a doctor in the army. Pleased to find another similarity between the two, Emily says her father is a doctor as well. Trusting Molly will understand, Emily explains her Grandy gave her the tags to help remind her to be brave and help England. Emily, however, can't see how she can do so all the way in America. Molly says she thinks Emily is brave for being so far from home. Molly puts the dog tags on Emily, saying they can 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; Emily thanks her. Molly thanks Emily again for the math help and says it will be great having Emily there. Emily knows her Just Beginning Friend means what she says.

The chapter has Emily's letter to her parents; she writes about Molly and how she's going to help Emily find a way to be brave and help England.

Chapter Two: Hot Cross Buns[]

Emily feels that she isn't brave and she even has difficulty pretending to be brave. She had to act brave waving goodbye to her parents, when riding a ship far from home that could be hit by a torpedo, and when she saw a stranger pick her up instead of her aunt. One hard time to act brave was when she came 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 was self-conscious when others gathered around her asking questions, and imitating her accent. She was also unsure how to explain to Molly and her friends the terror of sleeping underground and seeing houses get bombed when Molly was so carefree and safe about the war. Emily feels often that if she tells the truth, she will appear to be a complaining crybaby--and, as her Grandy said to her, the British just grin and bear it. But grinning and bearing it feels as dishonest as acting brave to Emily.

It is Friday morning and breakfast time. Emily is pleased with her new outfit and Molly's words last night that they were having oatmeal for breakfast. Ricky, instead, complains that they have oatmeal everyday. Mrs. Gilford explains she wants Emily to have what she was used to since she had oatmeal everyday. Emily is torn: Mrs. Gilford was right, but she was sick of having oatmeal. However, since it would be rude to say her thoughts, she instead thanked Mrs. Gilford for the oatmeal and eats it. Emily thinks that Jill, Ricky, and Molly are annoyed by her, so she is grateful when Brad eats a spoonful of oatmeal and declares he likes it. Ricky disagrees, undaunted by Mrs. Gilford's glare. Emily is shocked how American kids can be so outspoken and cheeky. She watches with fascination as Ricky pours twice the amount of her English daily milk ration into his oatmeal, then slices a banana into his bowl as well--an exotic fruit to her. When offered seconds for breakfast, Emily explains that in England, there are posters saying "Don't take more than you can eat." Ricky jokes that he always want to eat more than he's allowed to take, and the others laugh.

At the playground at school, Susan admires Emily's new outfit. Emily is embarrassed by the attention but also shyly proud to have her new dress admired. Linda notices that Emily's cardigan isn't buttoned all the way up anymore like she used to when they first saw her, like she was cold. Linda adds that Emily appeared cold and stand-offish to begin with and Susan says Emily was more stand-backish. Susan tells Emily she was glad she wasn't a show off. Molly explains it took time for the both of them to get used to each other, and Emily agrees with Molly. The girls repeat what Emily says. Emily is cheerful and warm, knowing she wasn't being made fun of when others repeated her words; she now understands that they are just being playful. Emily sometimes isn't sure if she is used to Americans as she is still taken aback by how loud and rowdy her classmates can be.

In the classroom, Ms. Campbell asks for their attention. Emily complies, wanting Ms. Campbell to like her. Ms. Campbell smiles, gives Emily a wink, and mentions to the others that Emily is ready. Eventually everyone quiets down and Ms. Campbell asks her students some of the ways kids can help the war effort. The students give off various things they do and Ms. Campbell explains when they help their soldiers, they're being patriotic. She then asks the class what makes them feel patriotic and others give 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; everyone murmurs agreement. Ms. Campbell happily explains to the students that the PTA has decided that every class will get an instrument on loan. Their class is given the flutophone; everyone, including Emily, cheers. But by the end of the afternoon, Ms. Campbell is tired and worn out after the music lesson. The students frequently play their flutophones before she finishes handing them all out, and she has to flip the lights on and off many times to get their attention. She then attempts to teach them how to play "Hot Cross Buns". Emily can't hear her own playing, but no one seems to be getting the notes correct. Ms. Campbell gives the class practice cards and asks them to practice outside of school as well.


The girls praise Emily's playing in the garage.

The girls 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 but once all four of them play the first three notes, she sends them to practice in the garage rather than listen. In the garage, Molly suggests they all play in turns. Susan volunteers Emily to play first and Emily blushes, saying she can'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. As she finishes, the others look at Emily in shocked silence and then applaud. Molly compliments Emily's skills at the flutophone, saying she's as good at it as as math. Emily is nervous from the praise; she feels she isn't musical at all and managing to play the simple song is a fluke. She tries to explain this to the other girls, but Susan says Emily is being not-a-show-off as usual, and Linda begins to play her instrument to demonstrate her lack of skill and cutting off Emily's protests. Secretly however, Emily enjoys the admiration and feels like a full-fledged friend from their admiration. She thinks that if she lets them believe she's good at music, then she is only exaggerating a little like the Americans did and there is no harm in that.

There is another of Emily's letters to her parents, discussing the flutophone and how she is still looking for ways to be brave and help England.

Chapter Three: Practice Makes Perfect[]

Emily takes her grandfather's words to heart, keeping his dog tags under her pillow every night in hope that the next day will give her a chance to be brave and help England. Emily still finds it hard to help England though, as she is being so swept up in her American life. She has chores, homework--and since Molly, Linda and Susan want to be her friend, Emily spends as much time with them as possible. Over the weekend, the girls practice the flutophone diligently, but by Sunday they have grown bored of the same song and have practiced for only fifteen minutes. Molly tells Emily she hopes they will learn a new song tomorrow, but Emily secretly hopes they don't; it would reveal Emily is no good at music.

Monday morning--after another breakfast of oatmeal--Molly and Emily head off to school. At the start of class, Ms. Campbell tells the students first thing to put away their instruments. She then asks how soldiers use an animal's survival technique of hiding from their predators. Molly answers by explaining camouflage. Howie asks Emily if her ship to America was camouflaged. Emily explains that the ship to America was grey in order to not stand out. Ms. Campbell takes the attention away from Emily by scolding a student for looking at his flutophone. Once music lessons start, Molly, Susan, and Linda put their heads together and whisper. They then tell Ms. Campbell about Emily's flutophone skills and recommend that she hear Emily play. Everyone looks at Emily and she shrinks into her chair, embarrassed. Ms. Campbell asks Emily to stand up and play, and Emily complies. She manages to hit the right notes and after her performance, everyone claps and Ms. Campbell compliments Emily. Emily instead only grows more worried, as now the whole class is under the impression she can play the flutophone; she's unsure how they will react to when they find out otherwise.

The class is taught "America the Beautiful" and Emily has a harder time figuring out the tune to the song. However, everyone plays terribly. Ms. Campbell tells the class that practice makes perfect. Emily can't practice after school with the other girls as they have tap-dancing lessons. Molly explains they have a performance coming up and invites Emily to join their lessons. The thought of dancing in front of a crowd terrifies Emily and she declines the offer.

Emily goes home and begins to practice her flutophone. Brad keeps Emily company in the garage with an after school snack of crackers. Emily doesn't mind Brad listening to her practice as he thinks everything Emily played sounds right. After a while, Emily, discouraged, asks Brad how long she practiced. Brad is unsure how to tell time, so Emily goes to the kitchen clock; she sees she only practiced fifteen minutes, and says that it's not very long. Brad assures her she can practice more when Molly arrives home. He invites Emily to come help with the victory garden and, despite thinking she should practice more, Emily agrees to help.


Emily assists Mrs. Gifford in the victory garden.

Emily helps Mrs. Gilford in the garden, while Brad plays in the dirt. She loves gardening: the smell of the earth, the feel of the sturdy seedlings in her hand, and the sense that something is beginning despite most of the growing happening underground. As they work, Emily shares more information about her life in England to Mrs. Gilford and explains the lack of food availability from rationing such as mayonnaise. Brad offers to send his eggs to England so Emily can have mayonnaise again. Emily smiles at Brad's suggestion; the numbers of eggs that would have to be sent would have to be multiplied significantly to make a difference. Mrs. Gilford then says it's time to get ready for dinner. As Emily finishes setting the table, Molly returns home and tells Emily that she practiced her flutophone at her dancing lessons. Emily is secretly relieved that Molly, Linda, and Susan will do most of their practicing while waiting for their part in the dance rehearsal this week. Molly says she and the other girls aren't nearly as good as Emily and practicing with Molly would just bring Emily down. Emily again tries to tell Molly the truth about her ability but Molly goes on to compliment her performance at school. Molly shares her feelings of pride and that she felt like bragging to the whole world happily that Emily is her friend. Emily smiles weakly as Molly pulls out a letter she wrote for Emily's parents, and feels cold as she reads the letter and that she can't tell Molly the truth now.

There is then Molly's letter to Emily's parents, introducing herself and saying how proud she is of Emily for her flutophone and math skills.

Chapter Four: 45 x 10 = 450[]

Emily tells Molly some tips on multiplying the ten-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 can be completely happy. Emily has practiced the flutophone every day, but has never done so for more than fifteen minutes at a time and she doesn't seem to improve despite it. Her only consolation is that it seems impossible to tell who plays well and who plays poorly at their lessons.

Emily is surprised that afternoon when Ms. Campbell announces, in the middle of playing a song, that someone is off-tune. Woody--who is next to Emily--points out she is the one off-tune and Emily grows embarrassed. Howie teases Emily, telling her he thought she was a good player. Molly, Susan and Linda stand up for Emily before Ms. Campbell starts the song over again. Emily is too mortified to play along and pretends to play along with the others for the rest of the lesson. Ms. Campbell tells the class afterwards to practice twice as long as usual. Emily is determined to do so, even if it means revealing the truth to Molly. However Molly, Susan and Linda are busy all weekend with their tap-dancing recital practice so despite her intentions, Emily still only plays fifteen minutes each day.

Thursday is rainy and the class has indoor recess in the gym. Molly, Linda, and Susan show off their tap dance to Emily and Emily claps for them. After they finish, Susan says their performance is better when they have their tap-shoes on and instruments. Linda complains their dance is too short. Susan points out the dance being short means they have lots of time to practice their flutophones. Molly says that Ms. Campbell will check check their practice cards today. Emily asks how long the other girls practiced. Linda says it's been hours every day, and Emily begins to panic.


Emily changes the practice time on her card.

As the girls go back to dancing, Emily wonders if she is the only one who's barely practiced and that if Molly finds out how little she has--and that she isn't skilled at playing the flutophone--Molly will no longer want to be Emily's friend. Emily goes back to the currently empty classroom, gets her practice card, and changes the 1s on her card into 4s so it appears she practiced forty-five minutes each day instead of only fifteen, and puts away her card into her desk just as the rest of the class enters.

Molly asks where Emily went; Emily lies and says she was practicing her multiplication. The students pass their practice cards forward and begin to work on their multiplication practice books. Emily usually breezes through the problems but is too worried to do much work. Soon, Ms. Campbell tells the class to put away their work and writes 45x10=? on the board, asking who can solve the problem. Molly answers it before anyone else does, and Ms. Campbell replies that Molly must be studying her times tables; Molly gives credit to Emily. Mrs. Campbell says the class is lucky to have Emily, then goes on to say one student practiced the most out of everyone with four hundred and fifty minutes total over the past ten days--Emily.

As everyone cheers for her, Emily wonders how this happened--then realizes with horror that Linda was exaggerating when she said they practiced for hours. To make matters worse, Ms. Campbell then announces that there will be a flutophone performance by the class on Saturday for the school and the PTA--and when she asks the class who they think should get a solo, the students call out Emily's name. Emily tells the whole class she is a terrible flutophone player, but the others dismiss it as modesty. Emily starts to panic, wishing she was back on the boat heading to America in the middle of the ocean. She is sure she will play poorly at the performance, revealing she's a liar and fraud and humiliating herself, and so no one will ever want to be her friend.

Emily is too upset to sleep that night, but doesn't want Molly to hear her crying; she takes the dog tags with her to the garage to cry. While she is crying, she hears a voice whispering to her and turns around to see Molly bringing Emily her bathrobe. Molly says she thought Emily would be cold and then puts her arm around Emily and asks Emily if she is homesick. Emily says it's worse--she lied. She tells Molly the truth about changing her practice time and admits her fears of being a bad flutophone player and that it will mean Molly won't want to be her friend.

Molly apologizes for making Emily think that the only thing that made them friends were her flutophone skills. She explains 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 is Emily. Emily almost smiles. Molly says they need to come up with a plan for the performance, and the garage is too cold a place to do so. Emily asks what plan there is and Molly says she, Linda and Susan will have to see how they can be with Emily during her solo. When Emily asks if they are going to help her, Molly says that's what friends are for, and Emily gives her a smile. Back in bed, Emily thanks Molly for being her friend and she's never pretended to be Molly's friend. Molly jokes that she isn't like oatmeal--and that the Red Cross could send oatmeal to England along with turnips. Molly then figures out a plan that will help with Emily's solo and England at the same time--the one condition is that Emily has to be very, very brave. Emily agrees to it.

The next day after school, all four girls tell Ms. Campbell the truth about Emily's changed practice card. Ms. Campbell understands the problem of performing with so little practice, but the programs are already been printed and so Emily has to do her solo. Molly then asks if she, Linda and Susan can stand behind Emily during the performance. Catching on to the girl's plan to camouflage Emily's mistakes, Mrs. Campbell says she will allow them. For the rest of the time leading up to the show, Emily practices so much with her friends she feels she can do most of the song with very few mistake--but will still be relieved to have her friends there behind her during the show.


Emily speaks to the crowd after her performance.

Saturday just before the performance, Susan compliments Emily's the new dress that Mrs. Gilford made for her; Emily thanks her. The performance begins with the entire class playing "America the Beautiful." When Emily steps forward for her solo Molly, Susan and Linda stand behind her--and as she plays, the other three girls perform their tap dance routine, with Susan clashing her cymbals at the difficult spots to hide Emily's playing mistakes. When the song is over, the audience claps and cheers and Howie and Woody thump Emily on the back. Emily then does the bravest thing she has ever done in her life. She introduces herself to the crowd and asks them to donate canned food to England. The four girls perform a little jingle to promote donations.

Afterwards, everyone agrees that Emily's speech was the best part of the show, and Emily is pleased to hear how many people have promised to donate canned food. Emily overhears a woman tell Molly that "the little English girl" spoke right up for England; Molly replies that her friend Emily is very brave.

The book ends with Emily's last letter to her parents, asking them to tell her Grandy how she finally found a way to be brave and help England and retelling the events that occurred.

Looking Back: Children of War[]

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

  • The dangers in London due to The Blitz
  • Locations where British children were evacuated for their safety, including the English countryside and overseas.
  • The numbers of children who were able to evacuate from Britain.
  • Lives of British children staying in America and their homesickness.
  • The Kindertransport, which attempted to bring thousands of Jewish children safely to England.
  • The internment of Japanese Americans and things Eleanor Roosevelt did during it.
  • Ways children dealt with the many changes the war brought.

Items associated with Brave Emily[]



  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.