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The Quilts of Gee's Bend: Piecing Them Up
Contributor(s): Rubin, Susan Goldman
ISBN: 1419721313     ISBN-13: 9781419721311
Publisher: Harry N Abrams Inc
    OUR PRICE: $19.80  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: June 2017
Qty:
Annotation: A photo-essay portrait of the remarkable women of Gee's Bend and their celebrated artisan quiltmaking traditions explores their multigenerational history and culture while celebrating the artistic mastery that led to their 2002 exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Simultaneous eBook. 15,000 first printing.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
African American quilts; Alabama; Wilcox County; Juvenile literature.
African American quiltmakers; Alabama; Wilcox County; Juvenile literature.
Quilts; Alabama; Wilcox County; History; Juvenile literature.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Family | Multigenerational
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Art
- Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States
Dewey: 746.4609761/38
LCCN: 2016029253
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 3-4, Age 8-9
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 10.50" H x 10.50" W x 0.25" (1.38 lbs) 56 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 187659
Reading Level: 5.9   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 1.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q70599
Reading Level: 7.6   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 4.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Susan Goldman Rubin is the author of many biographies for young people, including Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People and Hot Pink: The Life and Fashions of Elsa Schiaparelli. She lives in Malibu, California.


Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall)
Rubin provides a warm and fascinating look at both the contemporary and historical women of Gee's Bend, Alabama, a community settled by freed slaves in about 1845. The women of Gee's Bend were always quilters and passed their skill down to their children. First-person interviews with the women provide an intimate look at their art and community. Lush photographs accompany the text; especially beautiful are the many pictures of quilts. Bib., ind. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #4)
Rubin provides readers with a warm and fascinating look at both the contemporary and historical women of Gee's Bend, Alabama, a community settled by freed slaves in about 1845. The women of Gee's Bend were always quilters and passed their skill down to their children. Making something beautiful and useful out of their old clothes and batting from the cotton gin allowed the quilters an outlet for their creativity and a congenial time together to piece the quilts. Through first-person interviews that include many anecdotes and quotations, the women's own voices come through, providing an intimate look at their art and community, alongside Rubin's historical context-setting. Lush photographs of people and places accompany the text; especially beautiful are the many pictures of quilts, ranging from the modest and plain to the boldly colorful. Readers will find the appended directions for making a quilt square easy to follow. Endnotes, bibliography, and image credits should satisfy any young historian and point him or her in the right direction for further research. The quilters of Gee's Bend are an inspiration to all, and it's wonderful to read their stories in their own words. robin smith Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 April #3)

Rubin (Hot Pink: The Life and Fashions of Elsa Schiaparelli) tells the story of a folk art form passed down through generations in a small corner of the Deep South. Descended from the enslaved and, later, tenant farmers, the women quilters of Gee's Bend, Ala., create unique variations of traditional patterns. Their vibrant handiwork sits in stark contrast to archival photographs of the quilters' hardscrabble surroundings. The women's expressions are proud, their settings meager—a 1937 photograph shows a room wallpapered in newsprint to keep out drafts. Rubin traces the quilters' history alongside their struggle for civil rights and a steadily improving quality of life. When the women's art is "discovered" by outsiders and becomes sought after, the results weren't always welcome. Numerous quotations allow the women to tell their story: "A lot of people make quilts for your bed," says Mensie Lee Pettway. "But a quilt is more. It represents safekeeping, it represents beauty, and you could say it represents family history." An epilogue, source notes, bibliography, index, and brief quilting how-to wrap up a celebration of fellowship and ingenuity. Ages 8–12. (June)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 April)

Gr 6 Up—A quilt "represents safekeeping, it represents beauty, and you could say it represents family history." In this handsomely designed volume, Rubin shares the history of the Gee's Bend families, who, for more than 100 years, have been designing and creating bold and brilliant quilts. From 1845, when plantation owner Mark Pettway and his household settled in Alabama, to the present, African American women in this rural village have been piecing together scraps of fabric salvaged from old clothes, flour sacks, or corduroy pillow covers, while their daughters, nieces, and granddaughters have watched and learned. Through the years, as they endured and eventually rose above abject poverty, back-breaking work, and inequality, the women continually found community in picking up their needles to help one another sew quilts to keep their families warm. As they witnessed tumultuous moments in history, from the Civil War and the Great Depression to the civil rights movement, the quilters were eventually recognized for their artistry by the outside world. Rubin captures the voices of the inhabitants of Gee's Bend, weaving quotes and memories of current residents throughout the engaging narrative. Vibrant photos of the most striking quilts and archival images complement the text. In the spirit of passing on the tradition, simple instructions for making a quilt square appear at the end of the book. VERDICT Combining history, memoir, and quilting, this fascinating portrait of an indomitable community will appeal to readers, artists, and crafters of all ages.—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.