Sunday, September 27, 2020

~ HISTORICAL FICTION FEATURE UNDER THE QUILT OF NIGHT ~

~ HISTORICAL FICTION FEATURE ~
--  'UNDER THE QUILT OF NIGHT' --
AUTHOR DEBORAH HOPKINSON
ILLUSTRATOR JAMES E. RANSOME
 
 September is National Sewing Month in the US each year, and I wanted to share some of my favorite quilt books for children with you this final Monday of September and on into October. 
 
As someone who has loved to sew since I was eight years old, I enjoyed sharing my love of sewing and quilting with my students when I was a classroom teacher. We read lots of books together, and I taught them three different sewing stitches using cardstock and yarn art projects. 
 
Other teachers used to ask me if this was okay with the boys. Did the boys enjoy the books and the sewing as much as the girls? Honestly, in my experience some of the boys enjoyed it even more because they had moms, aunts, and grandmas who sewed at home so they already had a connection with the art and skill of creating something with a needle and thread.
 
It's been awhile, but I can't remember a single student, boy or girl, who complained when we read literature where sewing or quilting was a main theme. When I would announce a new 'sewing project' for activity time or art instruction, there was usually a loud cheer from the entire group of students no matter who was in the classroom at the time.
 
Below is a post featuring a book I read to my class the last few years I was in the classroom. It was published in 2002, and it is simply beautiful. I have included information about the book, the author, and the illustrator from Goodreads, the publisher's website, and Publisher's Weekly (their original review) to spotlight this special piece of historical literature for young and middle-grade readers. At the end of the post there is a link to an entire unit provided on the internet by a university that I thought you may like to view. 
 
I think it is wonderful when educators and parents/grandparents can provide a tangible connection between history and a skill/craft that the students can learn, practice, and enjoy in these current times. Enjoy!  🧡✂ πŸ˜€

ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:

Award-winning duo Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome combine their talents once more for this sequel to the best-selling Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. Traveling late one night, a runaway slave girl spies a quilt hanging outside a house. The quilt's center is a striking deep blue -- a sign that the people inside are willing to help her escape. Can she bravely navigate the complex world of the Underground Railroad and lead her family to freedom?

Honors & Awards:

·        Washington State Book Award (2003)

·        ILA/CBC Children's Choices

·        Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award Master List (OR)

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from the publisher's website}:
Deborah Hopkinson is the author of numerous award-winning children's books, including Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, winner of the International Reading Association Award, Girl Wonder, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award, and Apples to Oregon, a Junior Library Guild Selection. She received the 2003 Washington State Book Award for Under the Quilt for the Night. She lives in Oregon. Visit her online at DeborahHopkinson.com.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR {from the publisher's website }:

James E. Ransome’s highly acclaimed illustrations for Before She Was Harriet received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. His other award-winning titles include the Coretta Scott King winner The Creation; Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed’s Barbershop; Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; and Let My People Go, winner of the NAACP Image Award. He frequently collaborates with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome. One of their recent titles is Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams, which received four starred reviews and was an ALA Notable Children’s Book. James is a professor and coordinator of the MFA Illustration Graduate Program at Syracuse University. He lives in New York’s Hudson River Valley region with his family. Visit James at JamesRansome.com.

PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY REVIEW:  https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-689-82227-8

Dramatic oil paintings and compelling verse-like prose combine to portray the harsh yet hopeful experience of travel along the Underground Railroad. Hopkinson and Ransome revisit the theme of their first collaboration, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. This time readers journey the precarious trail to freedom with a young runaway as she escapes to Canada via clandestine routes and dangerous nighttime treks. The intense opening spread features three panels showing her nameless family running for their lives by the light of the full moon, some shoeless or with only rags on their feet. (Subsequent pages show snarling dogs and overseers in hot pursuit.) The story comes to a formidable climax when they're almost discovered hiding in the back of a wagon. Hopkinson names each segment of the journey ("Running," "Waiting," "Hiding") and her narrative conveys the emotional and physical hardships of the trip ("Fear is so real, it lies here beside me"). The author connects the metaphorical protective quilt of night with folkloric elements (legend has it that quilts with blue center squares indicated safe houses on the Underground Railroad). Ransome fills in the characterizations with portraits that convey a strong familial connection and the kindness of the conductors along the way. This suspenseful story successfully introduces and sheds light on a pivotal chapter in America's history for youngest readers. Ages 5-10. (Jan.)

 
FREE RESOURCE:
  • Here is the link to a PDF posted by Hobart and William Smith Colleges which includes several excellent activities for children to work on relating to this book:  
 

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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.

πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜



Find the links to more great 'It's Monday! What Are You Reading?' (#IMWAYR) posts for children's and Young Adult books over at the Unleashing Readers website.


πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ“™πŸ“•πŸ“—πŸ“˜
 
 
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10 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fascinating book with the connection to the Underground Railroad. Awesome how you got your students interesting in sewing. You must have been a very talented teacher.

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  2. I never knew sewing had its own month! The book you shared today is one I'd never come across before. I'll be looking for it on my next library trip. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this post and will be looking for a copy of Under the Quilt of Night. A number of years ago, the American Folk Art Museum in NYC had an exhibit of quilts, part of which were quilts from the Underground Railroad and part of which were family history quilts. It was a fascinating exhibit and I think about it often. Thanks for letting us know about this book.

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  4. Under the Quilt of Night sounds like an powerful story. I love historical fiction. And I love the analogy of the quilt. Great links for readers! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. "Under the Quilt of Night" sounds like an amazing story. I am definitely adding it to my TBR list!

    Here's my post for this week:

    https://steppingstonesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2020/09/its-monday-what-are-you-reading-1.html

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  6. Under the quilt of night is a new-to-me title, but I've sure loved James E. Ransome's artwork in other books. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I love your anecdotes about teaching books on sewing, and this sounds like a truly fabulous book! The way the quilt plays into the story sounds fascinating. Thanks for the wonderful post!

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing this book. I also love to sew and I love historical fiction (picture book or middle grade). I bet the kids did love adding activities to their studies in the classroom.

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  9. This sounds like an important book. Kids really need to understand what happened in that time. This sounds like a wonderful way for young people to get that understanding. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  10. I once made a quilt with my class. I think the boys loved using the sewing machine way more than the girls!

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