Synopses & Reviews
Born in North Carolina, James Ransome is a graduate of the Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration. While still a student at Pratt, James was one of twelve finalists out of two thousand selected to illustrate the annual Citibank calendar. After graduation, James continued to study painting at the Art Students League where his entry into the Society of Illustrators Annual Student Scholarship Competition received the Jellybean award. Currently a member of the Society of Illustrators, James has illustrated numerous books for children, including Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and Freedom's Fruit. His illustrations also appear on book jackets, greeting cards, puzzles and shopping bags, as well as in magazines and calendars. One of James's paintings is in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Public Library's permanent children's book art collection.
James currently lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, with his wife, Lesa, their two daughters, and their Dalmatian, Clinton.
Illus. in full color. As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation--and even of running away to freedom. Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad. In a flash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in her scrap bag to make a map of the land--a freedom quilt--that no master will ever suspect.
An inspiring tale of creativity and determination on the Underground Railroad from Coretta Scott King winner James Ransome and acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson.
Clara, a slave and seamstress on Home Plantation, dreams of freedom--not just for herself, but for her family and friends. When she overhears a conversation about the Underground Railroad, she has a flash of inspiration. Using scraps of cloth from her work in the Big House and scraps of information gathered from other slaves, she fashions a map that the master would never even recognize. . . .
From the award-winning author-illustrator team of Deborah Hopkinson and James Ransome, this fictional tale of the Underground Railroad continues to inspire young readers 25 years after its original publication.
"Inspiring." --The New York Times
"A triumph of the human spirit." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
Clara, a slave in the Big House on Home Plantation, begins to save scraps of colored cloth for a quilt that becomes a map depicting the route of the Underground Railroad. Clara eventually escapes herself by the path that has by now been stiched into her memory, leaving the quilt behind as a guide for others.
About the Author
"A particularly effective way to introduce the subject to younger children, adding a trenchant immediacy to their understanding of a difficult but important chapter in the country's past."--(starred) Horn Book.
"This first-rate book is a triumph of the heart."--(starred) Publishers Weekly.