A review by M.S. Ocampo

Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper is a unique and humorous children’s book about a young girl experiencing a draw to religious life who learns how to balance her perceived obedience to God with her obedience to adults. This book is not just good for Catholic parents raising the next generation of cradle Catholics, but for young kids who are starting out Catholic school.

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Molly doesn’t want to take off her purple habit the Children of Mary sisters wear but mom’s says she has to put on the school uniform.

Molly McBride is about to start kindergarten, but she hates the plaid jumper that she has to wear. She wants to wear her purple dress that looks like the habits the Children of Mary sisters wear. On top of not wanting to wear her school uniform, Molly is also afraid of not having her tiny stuffed wolf Francis with her.

During orientation, Molly makes friends with a boy named Dominic who is dressed like a priest. They both want to wear what they want and decide to ask Fr. Matt for advice. To their surprise, Fr. Matt greets them dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts. The teacher explains that Fr. Matt just returned from a vacation in Florida and didn’t wear his priest clothes while he was there.

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Molly and Dominic learn from Fr. Matt that while uniforms are important, God loves us for who we are on the inside. Special clothes aren’t as important as the love Jesus has for everyone and who we are on the inside is something that can’t be taken away from us.

This particular children’s story is unique as there are rare stories of children aspiring to religious life at such a young age. What’s interesting is that Molly and Dominic tie their identities to what they wear, similar to how teenagers want to have a signature outfit. The moral of the story is also unique, almost like something out of Ecclesiastes: There is a time to wear uniforms and a time to wear something different.

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Follow the Author Here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15065203.Jean_Schoonover_Egolf

Genre: Children’s Book

Catholic Themes: Holy Orders, Priesthood, Sisters, Vocations, Appearances, Identity

Author’s Worldview: Catholic

Audience: Ages 5-10

Year Published: 2016