I would like to end this year with lovely excerpts from Jacqueline Woodson’s picturebook entitled, This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration. The book was published in 2013. Jacqueline Woodson dedicated it to the more than 6 million African Americans who left the unjust conditions of the South for a better life in the North from the early 1900s until the 1970s. The book was beautifully illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award recipient, James Ransome.
This is the rope my grandmother found
beneath an old tree
a long time ago
back home in South Carolina.
This is the rope my grandfather used
to tie the few things they owned
to the top of a car that drove my grandmother,
who was a mother now,
from South Carolina all the long way to a place called
New York City.
This is the rope my mama held out to the girls on the block,
her new Brooklyn block, a home of their own
that they finally owned.
This is the rope my daddy used
when he showed me the way
to tie a sailor’s knot—
Two times around and pull it real tight.
You want whatever you make or do
in your life, my daddy said, to last…
Check out Myra’s review of a similar book:
What a joy to have heard her speak enough times to actually hear her voice in my head when I read her written words! Thank you for this offering today. It reminds us to celebrate whatever “rope” ties our past to our present and future.
I love this book, seems simple but there are connections I would never have thought of. I don’t know the Vaccarino book, so thanks for that, too, Fats. Happy New Year!
I read Jacqueline Woodson’s “Brown Girl Dreaming” but haven’t read this picture book–thanks for sharing it with us Fats, I definitely want to check it out!
I have one of Dan Yaccarino’s books on Jacque Cousteau, it’s wonderful, will have to look for this one too!
Happy New Year!
This book got overshadowed by Brown Girl Dreaming for me, and yet it’s what I need in my classroom. I love the way the rope “ties” the generations together, and yet perhaps carries a hint of tragedy along with it, for those who know the history. Thank you, Fats, and wishing you a 2018 that’s merry and bright all year!
I don’t know that Dan Yaccarino book, thank you so much for highlighting it! And Jacqueline Woodson is such a treasure.