Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom - Bettye Stroud

Illustrator: Erin Susanne Bennett
Published: 2005
Rating: 5
Read: 1/31/09 B&N
Paperback version, no endpapers

I am becoming more and more impressed with the quality of story and illustration that Candlewick Press publishes.

Based on a quilt code that has been verified (and written about in Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, published by Jacqueline Tobin and Dr. Raymond Dobard, 1999), Bettye Stroud has written a story about Hannah and her father's arduous journey as runaway slaves from a Georgia plantation into Canada. There are lots of details - about quilt patterns, about the Undergraound Railroad, about Quakers and some of the history of help along the way. However, it's not too lengthy - it's a fascinating account and overview, but short enough to keep even a younger child's interest. It would be a great read aloud to go along with a slavery, Black History, (or even Harriet Tubman) unit - and the quilt patterns which are integrated into the story could be integrated beautifully into the classroom in various ways - math and art and illustration and even hands-on with fabric, needle, and thread!

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