Firefighters' Folklore

Overview

Do you know who started the first volunteer fire company in the United States? Did you know that firefighters call fire "the Dragon"? Do you know who the first woman firefighter was? Or did you know that firefighters trace their heritage back to the knights of the Crusades? Fire is humanity's ancient enemy -- but down through the ages, firefighters have risked their lives to protect others. Their folklore reveals a long tradition of courage.
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Overview

Do you know who started the first volunteer fire company in the United States? Did you know that firefighters call fire "the Dragon"? Do you know who the first woman firefighter was? Or did you know that firefighters trace their heritage back to the knights of the Crusades? Fire is humanity's ancient enemy -- but down through the ages, firefighters have risked their lives to protect others. Their folklore reveals a long tradition of courage.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Don't let this title fool you—this is not a book about folklore. Folklore is interspersed in a few chapters, but this could more aptly be titled "Firefighter Features." This volume in the 'North American Folklore' series begins with a Native American legend about Coyote giving the gift of fire to humans so their children and elderly family members would not die during the cold winters. This is also where the chapters that are solely about folklore end. What follows is more of an illumination of firefighting history and practice. The book is well researched and presented to hold readers captive. The chapters are short enough to not belabor any one area, yet provide ample information to provoke stimulating thought and discussions. Even the historical content is captivating—the early discrimination against black firefighters is sadly embarrassing, but in the 'freedom for all' chapter, we read that new 'traditions' that include integration were finally achieved. Consider this work for younger readers as well. At least parts, especially during Fire Safety Week or a Firefighters Awareness day—or make up your own day. 2003, Mason Crest Publishers,
— Elizabeth Young
VOYA
Introducing many aspects of folklore in North America, this "North American Folklore" series helps young people "appreciate more fully the cultural fabric" they encounter, notes series editor, Dr. Alan Jabbour, a folklorist and former director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, in his introduction to each volume. Topics as diverse as Children's Folklore, Folk Fashion, Folk Religion, and Folk Proverbs and Riddles are covered in the twenty-one volumes, each focusing on a specific subject. Of the three reviewed here, Contemporary Folklore would be of the most interest to young adults for recreational reading because it focuses mainly on urban legends. It is filled with examples of the stories passed around by friends as true accounts as it explains the history and development of urban legends. They are discussed in light of their themes, such as warnings, cyberlore, tales of travelers, or tales of humiliation. It ends with a good explanation of the purpose of legends. Folk Medicine would most likely be used by students who are doing assignments on alternative medicines or medical folklore. It gives a definition of folk medicine and offers some background on its history and development, and then each chapter discusses the folk medicine of different cultures; Native American, Appalachian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian practices are explained. Included are some recipes used in the past and a warning as to which ones should not be tried today. Firefighters' Folklore reads more like a history of fire fighting, but it has a few stories included. In light of recent emphasis on firefighters as heroes, this topic would probably interest young people. The author does agood job of detailing the development of the volunteer fire companies in America. All of the books in this series are well organized, with illustrations and sidebars of interesting facts and stories throughout. The format is attractive and the information would be easy for students to use for assignments. The glossary helps students understand the unfamiliar words that appear in boldface type in the text, although more words should have been included in the glossary. Each book lists Web sites for more information as well as print material. This series would be useful for libraries where there is an interest in folklore or classes that study it regularly. Glossary. Index. Illus. Further Reading. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Mason Crest, 106p. PLB Dubois
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590843345
  • Publisher: Mason Crest Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: North American Folklore Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. The Power of Life and Death: Fire in Legend and Myth 7
2. Ingenuity and Vigilance: Ancient Fire-Fighting Mechanics 15
3. The Knights of the Crusades: A Heritage of Courage 21
4. The Flames of Destruction: The Great Fire of London 29
5. A Common Enemy: The Threat of Fire in Colonial Times 39
6. The Father of Volunteer Fire Departments: Benjamin Franklin's Good Idea 49
7. Willing Saviors: Voluntary Service in America 57
8. Freedom for All: Fire Fighting Beyond the Boundaries of Race 67
9. A New Tradition: Fire-Fighting Sisters 81
10. Heroes for Today: Modern Firefighters 89
Further Reading 101
For More Information 102
Glossary 103
Index 105
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