Clara uses the power of community and creativity to sew a quilt that leads her back to her mother and to the Underground Railroad. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt is an historical fiction picture book based on the true,little known chapter in African American history the Underground Railroad 11 year old Clara is separated from her mother and sent to be a field hand on a large plantation When her sewing proves valuable than her field work, Clara is moved inside the Big House There she hears stories from other slaves describing freedom by way of the Underground Railroad Clara s sewing of patches on a blue blanket remind her of a pond and Here it was a picture that wouldn t wash away A map Careful listening, cautions conversations and intense observations lead Clara to fashiopn a quilt of patterns and pictures whcih provide the desperately needed resource for slaves struggling for escape When it s her time to leave, Clara relies on her memory of making the quilt to gain her own freedom The colorful and expressive language lend to the quality of Deborah Hopkinson s message James Ransome s paintings bring Clara s quilt straight to the reader Matching text to picture make this complicated subject simpler for the intended K 3 audience I learned about the Underground Railroad from this book than in history classes and would use it as a read aloud with my kindergartners then extend it to a class quilt mapping out our school for that text to self connection Mrs Hopkinson follows Sweet Clara up with the companion book, Under the Quilt of the Night and I look forward to reading it. Marks The Th Anniversary Of Sweet Clara And The Freedom Quilt As A Seamstress In The Big House, Clara Dreams Of A Reunion With Her Momma, Who Lives On Another Plantation And Even Of Running Away To Freedom Then She Overhears Two Slaves Talking About The Underground Railroad In A Flash Of Inspiration, Clara Sees How She Can Use The Cloth In Her Scrap Bag To Make A Map Of The Land A Freedom Quilt That No Master Will Ever Suspect Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt is a story all about the life of an African American girl, and her hardships that are presented to her during slavery During her early years as a slave, Clara and her mother became separated due to different buyers At her new plantation, Clara meets a woman that becomes as close to family as her own aunts and uncles Aunt Rachel attempts to protect Clara from the harsh conditions of working in the field, and lands her a job inside the Big House of the plantation Her new job includes being a seamstress, and helping out around the house During multiple visits to the kitchen, Clara overhears many conversations about runaway slaves and how all slaves could become free if only they had a map to follow to take them to freedom This message stuck with Clara, and she began to make a quilt with old scraps of fabric The details of her map came from the friends around her, as well as some who she had never really talked to before Once it was finally finished, Clara was the first to use it and she made her way towards freedom This story is very well written according to many literary standards The plot, theme, characters, and setting are well developed The characters are developed with various conflicts, and they are all developed through their actions, relations with others, and their sense of themselves Examples could be seen through the relationship developed with Rachel, as well as her younger friend Jack The setting is brought to life through details and descriptions given by the author They are all authentic and they do not overwhelm or sidetrack the readers from the actual story The descriptions are all relevant according to the time period, and they are descriptive of the life that Clara lived The characters in the story are very believable, and readers would be able to relate to their lives The role of being a slave and even as a slave owner, are all portrayed very delicately and honestly, which gives readers another in depth look into that world The conflicts represent all of the hardships that slaves would have to go through, and they are very believable to readers Because of the time period, all of the conflicts that are portrayed throughout the story are plausible The theme is about friendships, and hardships, which are all relevant to the world today However, I don t know that readers could relate to the adventures and journeys that these details discuss Simply because of the time period and the fact that the characters are slaves who are attempting to run away.I thought this was an excellent book that discusses the various aspects of being a slave I would definitely use this book in any classroom, during discussions of slavery Many story stretchers and various activities could be made to activate learning through the theme of this book I enjoyed the tales of adventure that are displayed through the book, as well as the tales of love and friendship I also enjoyed the authentic facts and details that the author portrayed. Clara was an intelligent and strong character, which is not always the case when slaves are portrayed in literature I liked how the book was written in a dialect, because it made it believable Her motive was very believable, because she went to find her mother My one critique is that the portrayal of time passing was not very clear, and I think it could ve been clear in the illustrations Clara sewed her quilt over a number of years, and she would ve physically changed, but the pictures don t show that. In this story, Sweet Clara is taken away from her mother and sold to work in another plantation in the fields She hates it and wants to go back to her mother, and she promised a friend she met that she would one day make it back to her mom Clara eventually gets to work inside the masters house and overhears a conversation about runaway slaves She hears about the underground railroad and decides she wants to make a map to get all the way to Canada to get to freedom She decides she will make a map out of the quilt to try and escape.The artistic quality in this book was amazing It depicted life back then as it would have been and the illustrations were spot on in color and exactness I loved the way the illustrations bled and how well thought out they were Overall, I believe this is a well written and illustrated story to teach kids about slavery and the tough conditions that they went through It depicts a young girl with lots of bravery to have even the thought of running away I recommend this book for teaching young kids about slavery because while it isn t harsh, it still shows the rough life that the slaves endured especially since it is based off of a true story It is very rich in it s historical content and really shows the lives that they lived. This is a little dense for the usual picture book crowd, but older kids might be too sad that Aunt Rachel is unable to reach freedom As an adult I enjoyed the story and thought it was a good way to introduce the concept of the Underground Railroad, but I just didn t think it worked best as a picture book. This book talks about a girl Clara and her determination to taste freedom The sentences are long to I read it aloud for my 7YO Enjoyed reading and sensing the feelings of Afro American population, it gently introduces to their history. Title Sweet Clara and the Freedom QuiltAuthor Deborah HopkinsonIllustrator James RansomePublisher Dragonfly BooksDate 1995Grade Level 3Lexile 680LPages 40Guided Reading Level SGenre Historical fictionSummary This is a great multicultural historical fiction book Clara is a little girl that is sent from one plantation to another and forced to leave her mother It is a very emotional book based on a tough time in history The main character creates a quilt that ends up being a map to freedom I would definitely use this book as a teacher because it is talking about a real time in history Since students may either have no understanding of it or very little, this book is a great way to show them a character their age that they can better understand Teaching Ideas This would be a great book to build a unit around considering the history that comes with it Students can research this time period and create their own writing piece pretending they are alive during that period Students have to think what it would have been like for them.CCSS.ELA Literacy.W.7.Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic. I m reading a book called Hidden in Plain View It s about how quilts were used to help the enslaved escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad This book was mentioned in that one It s a children s book, but a great place to begin with your children to show them how quilts were used.There s, of course, speculation that quilts were never actually used in the Underground Railroad, but Hidden in Plain View shows evidence that they were Wonderful little read and beautiful art work.
I write picture books, nonfiction, and middle grade fiction I love history and visiting schools to talk to young readers Pre K 8 and sometimes high schools.My new books in 2019 are CARTER READS THE NEWSPAPER, HOW I BECAME a SPY, and WHERE IS THE KREMLIN Recent awards for picture books include ORDINARY, EXTRAORDINARY JANE being named a 2019 Oregon Book Award finalist I received the Jane Adda
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- Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
- Deborah Hopkinson
- 14 June 2017 Deborah Hopkinson