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I Lay My Stitches Down
Poems of American Slavery

Ages 10 & up
Full-color illustrations throughout
Lexile: 990L
PAPERBACK; Published: 8/8/2023
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5614-2
Price: $ 10.99
36 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 8.25 x 11
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A moving, memorable poetry collection shaped around the stories of enslaved people in America.

     • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) Nonfiction Honor List
     • Bank Street College Best Children’s Books
     • NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books
     • PEN Steven Kroll Award Shortlist
     • Kirkus Reviews (starred)
     • School Library Journal (starred)

This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of enslaved people in the United States. Named for traditional quilt block patterns like Log Cabin, Cotton Boll, and Schoolhouse, each poem—ten lines of ten syllables each—mimics the square shape of a quilt block. Readers experience slavery in America through fourteen different perspectives, including a woman humming “Gilead” as she quilts, a mother losing her daughter to the auction, a child discovering the freedom of learning, and a young man fleeing on the Underground Railroad.

Brought to life by vivid, expressive artwork from Michele Wood, this stirring and eloquent book offers a timeless witness to the hardship endured by enslaved men, women, and children. Each poem is supplemented by historical information and notes on quilting, musical, and spiritual references in the text.

Voice of Youth Advocates Nonfiction Honor List (2013)