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Molly, by golly! : the legend of Molly Williams, America's first female firefighter
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Author Notes
Dianne Ochiltree is the author of several award-winning picture books for the very young, including Ten Monkey Jamboree , Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins (Margaret K. McElderry Books) and Lull-a-bye , Little One (G.P. Putnam's Sons). Dianne lives in Sarasota, Florida, with her family and pets in a house by the bay. You can visit her at<br> <br> <p>Kathleen Kemly Molly, By Golly included a trip to the New York City Fire Museum. While in New York she was able to imagine Molly You Can for Calkins Creek and A Fishing Surprise for Cooper Square Publishing, among others. Kathleen lives in Seattle and can be reached at<br></p>
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Ochiltree and Kemly share the little-known story of Molly Williams, an African-American woman who, in the early 1800s, went from cooking for New York City's volunteer firefighters to battling blazes alongside them as the first female firefighter. The men of Fire Company No. 11 adore Molly's hasty pudding and apple tansey, but when a fire breaks out during a blizzard, she races outdoors to warn the neighborhood, then helps haul out the pumper engine, carry buckets, and combat the fire. Kemly's snow-streaked illustrations show Molly as a woman of determination and strength, and a sense of both danger and heroism radiates from the story. Ages 7-10. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-Williams was a cook for New York City's volunteer Fire Company 11 in the early 1800s. When a snowstorm and influenza threatened to cripple the firefighters' efforts, the African American woman fled her kitchen as the first church bells announced a fire nearby. She alerted the runners to gather buckets and volunteers, fetched water from the river, pumped the engine, sprayed the blazing wooden house, and "pulled down chunks of burning roof with a hooked iron rod." From then on, she was known as "Volunteer No. 11," the first woman firefighter in America. Mouths will water at the mention of Molly's delectable 19th-century dishes such as hasty pudding, chicken roly-poly, hot apple tansey, and venison stew-students will probably want to research the recipes as well. They can also compare the tools, equipment, and practice of firefighting today to that of 200 years ago. Vibrant watercolor illustrations are filled with historical details; windmills, butter churns, cobblestoned streets, wooden houses with thatched roofs, and weather vanes capture the "small town" community in which everyone pitches in to avert crisis. This attractive, engaging, carefully researched title will not only enrich firefighting units, but is also recommended for women's history and lessons on post-Colonial life.-Barbara Auerbach, P.S. 217, Brooklyn, New York (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This legendary tale introduces young readers to Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City's Fire Company 11, who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history. One winter day in 1818, when many of the firefighting volunteers are sick with influenza and a small wooden house is ablaze, Molly jumps into action and helps stop the blaze, proudly earning the nickname Volunteer Number 11. Relying on historic records and pictures and working closely with firefighting experts, Dianne Ochiltree and artist Kathleen Kemly not only bring this spunky and little-known heroine to life but also show how fires were fought in early America.
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