Customer Reviews

38
4.7 out of 5 stars
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt (Reading Rainbow Books)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$7.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2001
This story is told through the eyes of a young slave named Clara. Clara was taken from her mama, so when she arrives at the new plantation a woman named Rachel befriends her. Aunt Rachel, as she becomes known, notices that Clara is not enjoying working in the cotton fields. Aunt Rachel teaches Clara how to sew and Clara eventually starts working in the Big House. While working in the Big House she pays close atttention to the others as they talk and describe the areas around the plantation. Clara secretly goes every night and works on the quilt made of the scraps from the Big House. Clara makes a beautiful quilt in hopes that it will help her and others escape to freedom. Read more to find out what happens to Clara and the others. The illustrations in this story showed how the people of that time period looked, dressed, and worked. Ransome's illustrations enhanced Hopkins' delightful story of Clara and the quilt. The author and illustrator accurately portray specific cultures and customs of the ethnic situation. Overall, this was a delightful story to add to any classroom discussion on the topic of freedom and slaves.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
As a fourth grade reading teacher in Texas I read SWEET CLARA to my students as a Texas "Bluebonnet Book". I found it to be an interesting, easily understood book, with a feeling of mystery. In other words, "I loved it!"
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 18, 2003
I discovered SWEET CLARA AND THE FREEDOM QUILT when I was doing a little research into the Underground Railroad. It has been a long-standing theory that patchwork quilts were used to help the enslaved people to escape by the encoded messages in the quilt patterns. This story is another take-off on that traditional idea.

Clara, a slave girl under the age of twelve, was sent away from her mother to another plantation to work in the fields and pick cotton. She makes friends with Young Jack who sees that she's unhappy and not eating and advises her that she must eat to have the strength to be a field worker. Clara now shares a cabin with an older woman, who is kind to her and though unrelated, is called Aunt Rachel.

Aunt Rachel also sees that Clara may not be strong enough to be a field laborer, and over a period of time teaches Clara the art of sewing. Once she can learn to sew, she can work with Rachel at the Big House. Clara proves to be an apt pupil and eventually becomes a seamstress and goes to work for the mistress of the plantation.

The sewing room is next to the kitchen so that Clara meets a lot of people who move around the countryside. She also hears stories about the Underground Railroad, which is a group of people who help slaves to escape. As Clara listens to the people talking, she begins to question them about the surrounding land and decides to make a map out of sewing scraps. Eventually the quilt map is completed and Clara and Jack are ready to leave the plantation and go north to find the Ohio River, and head for Canada. Since Clara had memorized the quilt map, she left it behind so that others could use it too, and escape to the North.

The illustrations by James Ransome are excellent. The drawings are colorful and the expressions on the faces of the characters are wonderfully presented. My favorite illustration and excerpt takes place when Clara is leaving the plantation, and Aunt Rachel advises, "Before you go, just cover me with your quilt, Sweet Clara," she says, "I'm too old to walk, but not too old to dream. And maybe I can help others follow the quilt to freedom."

This is a wonderful offering by Deborah Hopkinson and James Ransome!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2002
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt This wonderful book`` Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt'' was by Deborah Hopkinson. The Publisher is by Alfred A. Knope. The illustrator is James Ransome. There are 15 pages and the intended audience is 7-11 for kids to read.
Sweet Clara was a very brave girl. She really wants to get back to her mother. Sometimes I like to make quilts just like Clara. I like it when Clara starts making the freedom quilt.But I do not like it when Young Jack escapes too see Sweet Clara.
I did like the book ,because it was freeing the slaves.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2005
Deborah Hopkinson's use of dialogue in this story is what really recommends it to be read aloud. The characters come through the story so well through their words. They usually don't come right out and SAY anything, but instead communicate vital information in a round-about sort of way. They pretend not to have a care in the world, all the while desperately plotting against their captors.

This is book would be a great tool for opening up a discussion about why people say one thing when they really mean something else entirely. Also, this book is great for discussing ways of "escaping" authority and subverting roles of apparent compliance.

Sweet Clara deserves a place on the bookshelves of young revolutionaries worldwide.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 1999
I read this book in our Cival War Unit in school. It was a wonderful book. I think that if you are looking at this book and thinking of bying it, do!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2002
Sweet Clara's aunt teachers her how to sew and she makes a quilt. She and young Jack leave because they were slaves, but you are going to have to find out if they make it to freedom or not. I liked this book. It was very interesting and I learned about history. I think you will like it too.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A small quibble before I sink into utter praise. The cover of this book depicts the aforemention sweet Clara and her sweetheart as they run joyfully through the fields. To freedom. Running joyfully, mind you, away from the slave plantation in broad daylight. I'm not saying that there weren't a couple slaves here and there who felt complete and utter joy as they ran, but this scene is positively idyllic. Shouldn't they be afraid of getting caught? Then again, maybe it's just representing the feeling that accompanies such flight, rather than sticking to the strict facts of the matter.
In any case, I began off point and I'm bound to wander off point unless I pull myself up and mosey on over the actual point. Ahem.
ACTUAL POINT: The book is quite good. You don't see that many stories reflecting the quilts that served as maps to lead slaves to freedom. The story is a realistic one, despite everything I said about the cover. And the people are especially well represented. You like Clara. You want her to find her mother and escape off of the plantation. The illustrations are, in pure James Ransome style, beautiful. I've nothing more to say. It's a book that should belong in every library's collection. Nuff said.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on February 9, 2015
This was a child's book but it touched my heart, I don't know if I could read it outloud to my children without crying.

A young girl is separated from her Momma to be a cotton picker-field worker. But the older woman slave started caring for her and eventually taught her to sew, being patient with her due to her sore swollen hands. She eventually was able to get Clara into the 'Big House' as a seamstress. As Clara listened to all the coming and goings she picked up on what the Underground Railroad was and eventually thought to made a 'map' that was a quilt. That to someone that didn't know what it was was just a pretty quilt. But it was a map to the house for the Underground Railroad. She and another young slave was able to escape but she did not want to take the quilt due to the bad memories it would bring to her. But she left it behind and many, many peple would stop in and remember the map that Clara made...

wonderful story
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2002
I have read and reread Hidden in Plain View and Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and I have learned more than I ever knew about the slaves and the underground railroad. It is a shame that such great and informative books are not better known. I am 65 years old; I read a lot and I am a quilter.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom
The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud (Paperback - August 28, 2007)
$7.99

Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad
Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine (Hardcover - January 1, 2007)
$14.12

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.