“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Molly, by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter
Reading Level: AD 830 L (Adult Directed)
Synopsis: This historical fiction book tells the story of Molly Williams. Williams was an African-American who worked as a cook for a firefighting company in New York City in the 1800s. In 1818, a fire started but most of the firefighters were sick, so Williams decided to help put out the fire. This text is called a legend because Williams was a real person, but the author had to “fill in” a lot of details about her because not much is known about the real Molly Williams. However, at the end the author includes a section that talks about how she conducted her research as well as frequently asked questions.
Rationale for Use: This book could be done during a unit on historical African-Americans or historical women. Teachers could use this book to teach what legends are, or the genre historical fiction. The information in the back of the book could also be used to teach a lesson on how research is conducted.
Common Core Connection: Teachers could use this book to meet Common Core standards by having students describe Molly. The students could then describe how Molly’s actions affected the sequence of events in the story.