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I Lay My Stitches Down : Poems of American Slavery
by Cynthia Grady and Michele Wood


Overview - This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of American slaves. Drawn together through imagery drawn from quilting and fiber arts, each poem is spoken from a different perspective: a house slave, a mother losing her daughter to the auction block, a blacksmith, a slave fleeing on the Underground Railroad.  Read more...

 
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More About I Lay My Stitches Down by Cynthia Grady; Michele Wood
 
 
 
Overview
This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of American slaves. Drawn together through imagery drawn from quilting and fiber arts, each poem is spoken from a different perspective: a house slave, a mother losing her daughter to the auction block, a blacksmith, a slave fleeing on the Underground Railroad.
This moving and eloquent set of poems, brought to life by vivid and colorful artwork from Michele Wood, offers a timeless witness to the hardship endured by America's slaves. Each poem is supplemented by a historical note.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780802853868
  • ISBN-10: 0802853862
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: October 2011
  • Page Count: 34
  • Reading Level: Ages 10-18
  • Dimensions: 12.08 x 9.39 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.08 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > Poetry - General
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > People & Places - United States - African-American

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-11-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

Newcomer Grady’s compact poems about the lives of slaves cover an emotional range from gossamer (“Like the wren’s/ song, she hits the grace note just so”) to leaden (“drag my heart clean/ out of my chest”). Quilting runs through the poems as a theme (“Before I know, I’m rocking with the rhythm of the stitching”), and Wood (I See the Rhythm of Gospel) paints the slaves and their surroundings against backgrounds of quilt patterns and African textiles. Swirls of checks and triangles unfurl along with the movement of the stylized figures, softening the nightmare quality of scenes like one in which an overseer carries a girl away from her mother—“This morn he come for my baby girl—she/ done reach her breeding age. Fetch a good price.” The poems appear above detailed notes, opposite Wood’s paintings at right. The notes anticipate classroom use, where discussion will arise from the varied aspects of slavery—companionship between the master’s children and slave children, early horse racing’s domination by slave labor, and more—that Grady covers in this well-researched collection. Ages 10–up. Illustrator’s agent: Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Jan.)

 
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