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Under the Quilt of Night

Last updated Friday, February 21, 2020

Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: James E. Ransome
Date of Publication: 2002
ISBN: 039920900X
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2004

Synopsis: When night falls, and all is quiet, a slave girl starts to run. She follows the moon into the woods, leading her loved ones away from their master. There's only one place where he might not find them, and it's under the quilt of night.

Note to readers:
•  Tips for reading the book: ?This book deals with the escape from a life of slavery from a child's perspective.? It will be eye-opening for the children in your group to learn about the Underground Railroad from the point of view of a little girl.? Be sure to discuss the Underground Railroad, explaining (with the help of the notes at the end of the book) what it was and how it helped people escape slavery.? Be sure to emphasize vocabulary, and if there is a map in the room point out Canada. The teacher who selected this month's books advises that you acknowledge and discuss questions about this book's weighty subject matter as they arise.? Also, suggest that children discuss these issues in more depth with their parents after the Reading Clubs

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What do the students know about slavery and the Underground Railroad?
•  How can a quilt tell a story? Are there other symbols or codes that communicate without words?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a map of their journey.
•  Make a quilt that sends a message without words, using colors and shapes- what is the code?

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!