Molly, by Golly!
by Dianne Ochiltree; illus. by Kathleen Kemly
32 pages, ages 7 – 10
Calkins Creek, 2012
Molly Williams whips up hasty pudding, chicken roly-poly and johnnycakes for the volunteers of New York City’s Fire Company No. 11. But one wintry day, when snow covered the streets and flu had laid many of the volunteer firefighters low, church bells clanged out a fire alarm. Molly wrapped her shawl around he shoulders and headed outside to help any way she could.
In 1818, New York City is still a small town. Volunteers and townspeople spill into the street to lend a hand battling the blaze. People toss leather buckets to the streets below for the “bucket brigade”. Molly jumps into action, helping push the pumper engine through snowdrifts, cranking the long pump handles, and pulling down bits of burning roof with a long iron hook. And, according to legend, became the first female firefighter in the United States.
Though legend, there’s a lot of history in this book: info-packed back pages and historically accurate illustrations. This is a great book for any kid whose dad – or mom – is a volunteer on the local squad, and for anyone who thinks they want to drive a fire engine when they grow up.
Review copy from publisher.