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The Braid

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The Braid Cover

 

 

Excerpt

From The Braid

. . . The

bay was still. Moonlight on the water made a path from our
Scottish sea to -where? Where, I wonder, will we all be eating
supper in two months time? One year? I linked arms with Sarah,
the way weve done since we were small, sitting and watching on
that rock. Then we dipped our hands into the sea and touched our
tongues to the seawater, each of us swallowing a bit.
Canada seemed far away, the salty sea so close, our
journey not yet started. We walked back home. Hush now, Sarah said,
theyll be asleep. So they were, but we were wide awake when
we went to our bed. I took the hairbrush from the wooden
bench, and sat by Sarah, brushing out her long thick hair. Oh,
Jeannie . . . Sarah whispered. I cant . . . She drew in her breath. Then . . .
Goodnight. (Or did she say goodbye?) She loosened my braids, held
them in her hand, and brushed my hair so hard - I should have known.
But how could I? Then Sarah braided my hair with her own,
close and tight, so our heads were touching. We started laughing.

Will you girls go to sleep? Its near morning! Father called. Like two

cats curled together, we slept that night. Or - did Sarah sleep?

She must have stayed awake until I slept. She must have had

her sewing scissors tucked into her pocket. Sarah knew
where she was going. I woke to no warm place beside me.

Shed cut the braid close to our heads, tucked half into my hand -

You/me/sisters/always.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374309626
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
Family
Author:
Frost, Helen
Subject:
Family - Siblings
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Situations / General
Subject:
Social Issues - General
Subject:
Islands
Subject:
Social Issues/General (see also headings under Family)
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction-General
Subject:
Social Issues - New Experience
Subject:
Historical - Europe
Edition Description:
Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Author's note
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.262 in
Age Level:
from 12 up to 17

Related Subjects

Children's » Historical Fiction » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Children's » Situations » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Poetry
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Emigration and Immigration

The Braid
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 112 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374309626 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Frost's (Spinning Through the Universe) ingeniously structured novel in verse about a Scottish family may be set in 1850, but its themes will resonant with today's teens. The events unfold through the alternating perspectives of sisters Sarah, the oldest of four, whose strength and agility with tools help her father ('just like a lad,' says he), and Jeannie, the comely one with golden curls. Readers quickly learn that the British landlords are forcing out the residents of Scotland's Western Isle of Barra. The night before the family's planned departure for Canada, Sarah braids together her hair with Jeannie's, takes one half of the braid for herself and leaves the other for her sister. While 14-year-old Jeannie departs with her parents and two younger siblings by boat, 15-year-old Sarah hides out in order to stay with their grandmother and return with the woman to Mingulay, the small island south of Barra where their grandfather is buried. The braid not only symbolizes the bond between the sisters ('You'll always long for Jeannie, Aunt Mari says [to Sarah]. No matter how far/ away she is, you may know when something hard is happening to her'), but also nods to Frost's form here, the Celtic knot, which she employs seamlessly. This brief, memorable book spans two years, several deaths, first love and the stigma attached to unwed mothers, while also conveying the resolve of one family to survive and to preserve hope. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In this unforgettable novel, award-winning poet Helen Frost eloquently twists strand over strand of language, braiding the words at the edges of the poems to bring new poetic forms to life while intertwining the destinies of two young girls and the people who cross their paths.

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