I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery by Cynthia GradyI Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery by Cynthia Grady (Illustrated by Michele Wood. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) is included on the 2012 New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing List: “Poems, historical notes, and richly colored folk art offer inspiring glimpses of triumph, tragedy, and human resilience.”

Grady’s poems also received a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award:
“In unrhymed verse, the poet Cynthia Grady explores the emotions of people who were enslaved in the American south. The ten-line, ten-syllable poems express the horrors of children sold away from mothers, the beatings, the fear experienced by runaway slaves. Other poems also express the calm of sewing, the brief happiness of children fishing, the enjoyment of making music. Beneath each touching poem is a half-page of explanatory history. The acrylic on canvas illustrations by Michele Wood are stylized and filled with complex designs reminiscent of quilting patterns. With blues, browns, and greens predominating, they are beautiful, original, and evocative.”

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