Cynthia Grady’s I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery, illustrated by Michele Wood. (Eerdmans, Middle School) has been praised as a “stunning achievement for both author and artist” in The Horn Book Magazine.  “Crafting her poems to honor the art of quiltmaking, Grady reflects on a ‘metaphorical patchwork of circumstances encountered by enslaved people in America.” Each poem is complimented by  quilt-like illustrations, “incorporating other stylized forms into carefully composed scenes inhabited by heroic, emotion-charged figures.”

From the Washington Post review:
“Using a structure of 10 lines to 10 syllables to reflect square patches of cloth, D.C. author Cynthia Gradey presents 14 poems touching on aspects of slavery … Grady incorporates references to needlework into every poem … Throughout the book, the interplay between pictures and words, including the poems and succinct historical background, is deeply impressive, as seamless as it is stirring.”

Guild member Cynthia Grady is Head Librarian at Sidwell Friends Middle School in Washington, D.C. She is also a member of the Metropolitan WAshington Independent Schools Librarians & Associates.

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