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I Lay My Stitches Down
HARDCOVER; Published: 1/1/2012
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5386-8
Price: $ 19.00
34 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 9 x 12

Ages 10 & up
Full-color illustrations throughout
Lexile: 990L

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.

Read more about this book on EerdWord and Eerdlings.

PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing, Shortlist (2013)
Parents' Choice Award: Poetry category, Silver Honor (2013)
New York Public Library, Children's Books 2012: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Bank Street College, Best Children's Books of the Year, Starred for outstanding merit (2013)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Big Picture Review (2012)
Capitol Choices, Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens (2013)
Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), Choices (2013)
International Reading Association (IRA) & Children's Book Council (CBC), Children's Choices (2013)
IRA Childrens Literature and Reading Special Interest Group, Notable Books for a Global Society list (2013)
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review (2012)
Marilyn McGuire & Associates, Inc., Nautilus Book Awards, Gold - Children's Illustrated (Grades 3-6) (2013)
National Council for the Social Studies & Children's Book Club, Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People (2013)
NCTE Children's Literature Assembly, Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts (2013)
School Library Journal, Starred Review
"Each of [Grady's] free-verse poems about the African slave experience consists of 10 lines of 10 syllables that, as laid out on the page, mimic the square shape of a quilt block. They also include three references — to spirituality, music, and fabric arts — that reflect the three layers of a quilt. . . . Wood's intricate illustrations reflect folk art motifs and vibrantly express the rich culture of African American slaves."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A powerful grouping of thought-provoking poems and brilliantly designed paintings."
School Library Journal (starred review)
"This ambitious work offers a bit of poetry, history, folk art, quilting, religion and more. It will definitely fill a niche in libraries."
The Horn Book
"A stunning achievement for both author and artist."
Publishers Weekly
"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"). . . . 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."
Christian Library Journal
"Grady does an excellent job of sensitively portraying the harsh realities of slave life through the heartbreaking beauty of poetry that is simple on the surface but complex and purposeful in structure, content, and theme. . . . This compilation of poetry is moving and rich in substance."