Linda Rinaldi is the best friend of Molly McIntire.
Linda, along with Susan Shapiro, is Molly's best friend. Linda is described as being practical and more serious than Molly and Susan. Linda is also honest, straightforward, and often can be come up with fanciful schemes like Molly. Her father has been sent overseas to serve in the war, and they have a blue star in the window to represent this. Her mother works at an airplane factory and often comes home late at night; this means that she doesn't often had time to wash clothes, so Linda does not get to wear what she would like.
She is known to be messy at home. She is scared of "creepy crawly" things like bugs and spiders, and worms most of all. She dislikes cold weather.
In the Books
Meet Molly: An American Girl
Linda walks back home from school with Molly and Susan to discuss possible Halloween costumes. When Molly shares her idea of Cinderella costumes, Linda points out that this wouldn't be fair as the others would have to be the ugly stepsisters, and instead they should have more equal costumes. She joins the girls in making fun of Ricky's crush. During Halloween night, Linda says she pities Alison for having to trick-or-treat with her mother. Linda eats her candy as she and the others walk back home, but she gets soaked when Ricky sprays the girls with a hose. Linda helps Molly scheme a revenge plan against Ricky, and she helps by getting Ricky to stay outside near the window with the pretense that she wants to learn how to shoot baskets.
Molly Learns a Lesson: A School Story
Linda goes to Molly's house along with Susan as her mother works in an airplane factory every afternoon. She groans about their project, saying she dislikes knitting and knows she has no skills with the knitting needles. She suggests that they collect bottle tops to fit in with their top secret project. The next day, Linda says she wasn't able to wear her dark shirt and be like a secret agent because her mother didn't have time to wash it due to her late shift at the factory. As they're collecting the tops, the girls notice one of the houses have two blue starts on the window and Linda shares that her family has one up for her father. When they pass by Alison's house, Linda suggests they spy on the knitting bee. When Molly suggests the idea of making a blanket, Linda helps by sewing the knitted squares together.
Happy Birthday, Molly!: A Springtime Story
Molly Saves The Day: A Summer Story
Linda goes to Camp Gowonagin with Molly and Susan. They are all assigned to Tent Six. At Camp Gowonagin, she likes archery and notices everything about the counselors; on rainy days when they work on arts and crafts projects, she works on a lanyard. Wheh she admits to her fear of bugs and worms.
During the Color War, Linda is placed on the Red Team opposite Molly and Susan. She tells Molly and Susan not to take things seriously. However, she is made the guard of the Red Team and, when she spots Molly and Susan, blows on her whistle to alert the others.
Molly plots to throw worms and bugs on her to free her Blue Team mates, which she does when Linda is left to guard the prisoners while the Red Team tries to capture Susan. Linda is covered in worms, bugs and sticks, and recognizes Molly as the one who threw them on her. When Molly is supposed to tag her as prisoner, she does not do so as Linda looks like she is going to cry. She is still pulling worms out of her hair when the Blue Team escapes, and when Molly and Susan are in the canoe, she is standing all alone with her hands at her sides not even trying to blow her whistle. Molly looks for her after the Blue Team wins, but can't find her in the crowd.
After the Blue Team are sent to wash up to prevent poison ivy outbreak, Linda brings both Molly and Susan ice cream cones. She admits she was mad about the worms, but that she figured they were mad about her blowing the whistle on them. She admits she wanted the counselors to be proud of her. She is surprised to hear that Molly willingly swam underwater and that means they really do deserve to win the color war. She, like her friends, is glad the whole thing is over.
Changes for Molly: A Winter Story
Linda goes to the movies with Molly and Susan, taking their time to enjoy the theater before the movie started. Linda is noted to try a new candy at the movie theater every time, along with Susan.
After the movies, Linda goes over to Molly's house, and states that her favorite part of the movie was when Melody Moore and the other nurses sang and danced for the soldiers, prompting all three girls to sing the song from the movie. When Molly mimics the salute from the movie, Linda comments that Molly did that salute exactly like Melody Moore.
Linda is invited over to Susan's house to listen to Melody Moore records.
In the Film
Linda is played by Samantha Wilson.
- Linda's last name is not revealed in Molly's books. Its first mention is in the movie. It is also seen in the book 'Clues in the Shadows.
- Linda, like Susan, was not chosen to become Molly's Best Friend Character; instead Emily Bennett was chosen. This may have been for several reasons. One is that Emily shows a different aspect to Molly's stories since Linda and Susan don't have much of a variation from Molly's stories or lifestyle at all; furthermore it would have been complicated for American Girl to make two best friend dolls for one character (even though they later did so with Chrissa Maxwell, she is not a Historical Character).