“This meticulously researched yet seldom-told story proves that everyone can be a firefighting hero. It is sure to inspire generations of young children to serve their communities.”
—David Lewis, Curator, Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Aurora, Illinois
“Through vibrant illustrations and a legendary story, Molly, By Golly! brings the exciting past of ‘New York’s Bravest’ to life for our young readers of today.”
—Damon Campagna, Director and Curator, New York City Fire Museum
“What I love about Molly, by Golly is that it accurately depicts the era of the early 1800s. Author Dianne Ochiltree [made] the tale truly come to life, she was meticulous about depicting accurate firefighting techniques of that time period. I highly recommend this book, as it would make a wonderful gift for any child.”
—Ronna, Good Reads with Ronna
Molly, by Golly!
The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter
Released 2012 from Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills Press
Illustrated by Kathleen Kemly
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.
2016 Selection, Top 100 Recommended African-American Children’s Books by AALBC.com (African-American Literature Book Club)
Bronze Medal in Children’s Literature category of Florida Book Awards
2013 Book Award Honor for Language Arts Grades K-6 from International Society of School Librarians
2012 ALA Amelia Bloomer Book List for Feminist Literature
image © Kathleen Kemly