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This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migrationby Jacqueline Woodson
Synopses & Reviews
The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family’s history. But for three generations, that rope is passed down, used for everything from jump rope games to tying suitcases onto a car for the big move north to New York City, and even for a family reunion where that first little girl is now a grandmother.
Newbery Honor–winning author Jacqueline Woodson and Coretta Scott King Award–winning illustrator James Ransome use the rope to frame a thoughtful and moving story as readers follow the little girl’s journey. During the time of the Great Migration, millions of African American families relocated from the South, seeking better opportunities. With grace and poignancy, Woodson’s lilting storytelling and Ransome’s masterful oil paintings of country and city life tell a rich story of a family adapting to change as they hold on to the past and embrace the future.
"Woodson's (Each Kindness) gentle, unpretentious writing and Ransome's eloquent artwork breathe life into this story of a close-knit African-American family and their pursuit of a better life. The rope of the title is used over and over, tying luggage to the family station wagon when they leave South Carolina, airing diapers outside their new Brooklyn apartment, serving as a jump rope for the narrator's mother as a girl, then securing boxes as she later goes off to college. Ransome (Light in the Darkness) pays close attention to the details of life in 1970s and '80s Brooklyn, from the posters on a bedroom wall and silverware drying by the sink to the dubious expressions of the neighborhood preteens as they survey the new girl. The rope that unites the family then passes to a new generation, as the narrator learns how to jump rope, 'right here in Brooklyn, just last Friday night.' The chronicle of a homely object in an age of disposables and the sense of place Woodson and Ransome evoke make this an especially strong and vibrant fictive memoir. Ages 5 — 8. Author's agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together.
With the addition of a brand-new author's note, this special edition celebrates the tenth anniversary of this classic book. As always, Woodson moves readers with her lyrical narrative, and E. B. Lewis's amazing talent shines in his gorgeous watercolor illustrations.
Soonie's great-grandma was just seven years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her ma and pa, and with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She pieced together bright patches with names like North Star and Crossroads, patches with secret meanings made into quilts called Show Ways — maps for slaves to follow to freedom. When she grew up and had a little girl, she passed on this knowledge. And generations later, Soonie — who was born free — taught her own daughter how to sew beautiful quilts to be sold at market and how to read.
From slavery to freedom, through segregation, freedom marches and the fight for literacy, the tradition they called Show Way has been passed down by the women in Jacqueline Woodson's family as a way to remember the past and celebrate the possibilities of the future. Beautifully rendered in Hudson Talbott's luminous art, this moving, lyrical account pays tribute to women whose strength and knowledge illuminate their daughters' lives.
About the Author
Jacqueline Woodson (www.jacquelinewoodson.com) is the winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award for Miracle’s Boys and three Newbery Honor awards (for After Tupac and D Foster, Feathers and Show Way), and a two-time finalist for the National Book Award, for Locomotion and Hush. Other awards include the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and three Coretta Scott King Honors. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
James Ransome (www.jamesransome.com) has illustrated more than fifty books for children and won the Coretta Scott King Award for The Creation (by James Weldon Johnson). His work has also earned him a Coretta Scott King Honor, IBBY Honour, ALA Notable, NAACP Image Award, Bank Street Best Book of the Year, and Rip Van Winkle Award. He lives in upstate New York with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome, and their family.
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