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Molly Cone Papers

Identifier: DG0212

Scope and Contents

The Molly Cone Papers have a variety of material including typescripts, galleys, proofs, correspondence and research notes. The materials are arranged alphabetically by title and within each title in the probable order in which they were created. The correspondence is arranged chronologically by title.

Written between 1962 and 1982, the seven Mishmash stories are about a furry mutt named Mishmash that lives with a teacher named Miss Patch. One of her students, Pete, befriends the dog and they have crazy adventures. There are typescripts and galleys for the five Mishmash stories represented in the collection. Another series by Ms. Cone is the Shema (Hear, O IsraelM), a five volume series about understanding the Jewish religion. There are galleys for three of the titles.

Ms. Cone has also written numerous young adult fiction books dealing with the topics of self-awareness, self-discovery, and self-esteem. She describes these stories as "a kind of adventure story with the characters caught up in a dilemma or sometimes trauma of growing up." (Something About the Author, vol. 28, pp. 67) Her first book, Only Jane (1960) is the story of a shy girl who finds the courage to go to a dance. In Call Me Moose (1978), Martha finds herself when she tries to deal with the awkwardness of being an adolescent at summer camp. There are typescripts for these titles. In The Real Dream (1964), a young girl thinks she has met the boy of her dreams. A college-age girl learns to accept herself at a time when women were not supposed to be engineers in Crazy Mary (1966). There are typescripts and galleys for these two stories.

Although most of Ms. Cone's main characters are females, she has a few with boys who find self-awareness while witnessing social injustices. The Amazing Memory of Henry Bean (1980) is the story of a young boy who befriends a man and women who scrounge in a dumpster for leftovers and treasures. In Number Four (1972) a boy begins to appreciate his hertitage when he realizes he is the only Native American in his school. It is based on the true-life account of a Native American teen who was found dead in a river. There are numerous newspaper articles, research notes, and materials, as well as typescripts and galleys for this title. The Other Side of the Fence (1967) is another story that reveals social injustice. In the story, Joey discovers that there are negative feelings towards an African American family that live in the "empty house" in his aunt's all-white neighborhood. There is a typescript and partial galley for this title.

As a basis for her stories, Ms. Cone often describes Jewish characters and the problems they face as teenagers. In A Promise is a Promise (1964), Ruthy questions her Jewish faith when her friend invites her to join a church. Two of her stories deal with characters who realize the importance of their religion. Dance Around the Fire (1974) is the story of Joanne, who travels to Rome and Israel to learn more about her Jewish heritage. In You Can't Make Me If I Don't Want To (1971), Mitch runs away from home when he decides he does not want to travel to Israel with his family. Both the parents and the son begin to realize how little they know about each other.

Other books about the Jewish religion are also represented in the collection. The House in the Tree (1968), Who Knows Ten? (1965), Purim (1967), The Jewish New Year (1967), and The Jewish Sabbath (1966) all have typescripts and galleys. Hurry Henrietta (1966) is a biography of Henrietta Szold, a famous Jewish women. There are research materials, typescripts, and correspondence for this title.


  • 1949-1980

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; Available for research

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.

Biographical / Historical

Molly Lamken Cone was born on October 3, 1918 in Tacoma, Washington. She grew up as the middle child of five in a Jewish, Latvian immigrant family, and always knew she would be a writer. She attended the University of Washington from 1936-1939 and has worked as both a children's author and an advertising copywriter. She married Jerry Cone in 1939, and they had three children. The Cones were together 76 years before Molly passed away in 2016. They started a successful printing business and were founding members of Temple Beth Am in Seattle.

Although she published over 45 books during her career, Ms. Cone was most noted for her Mishmash and Shema (Hear, O Israel) series. There are seven Mishmash stories, all of which are based on her own dog, Tiny. The Shema series consists of five primers published with the Union of American Hebrew Congregation that teach Jewish culture and religion. She also contributed to three anthologies, Bold Journeys (1966), The Young America Basic Reading Program (1972), and Stories My Grandfather Should Have Told Me (1977). Ms. Cone has also written with fellow author Margaret Pitcairn Strachan under the joint pseudonym Caroline More, who published Batch of Trouble with Dial in 1963.

The excellence of her work was recognized by the Association of Jewish Libraries, Theta Sigma Pi, the Washington Press Women, and The New York Times. She received the Washington Governor's Writers Award three times during her career.

Molly Cone passed away on March 23, 2016 at the age of 97.


Something About the Author, vol. 28, pp. 65-67.

Contemporary Authors, vol 37 NR, pp. 91-92.


6.90 Cubic Feet (23 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material was donated by Molly Cone from 1965 to 1978.

Related Materials

The Margaret Pitcairn Strachan Papers (DG0951); The Symeon Shimin Papers (DG0890); The Velma Ilsley Papers (DG1153); The John Gretzer Papers (DG0395); The Uri Shulevitz Papers (DG0893); and The James McCrea Papers (DG0641)

Molly Cone Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the de Grummond Childrens Literature Collection Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001