Most Loved in All the World [NOOK Book]

Overview

An authentic and powerful account of slavery and how a handmade quilt helps a little girl leave home for freedom.

With a poet's keen ear, Tonya Hegamin tells the account of a little girl whose mother is a secret agent on the Underground Railroad. Before sending her daughter north to freedom, the mother sews a quilt for her daughter, not only to guide her with its symbols of moss and the north star, but also to remind her always that the ...
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Most Loved in All the World

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Overview

An authentic and powerful account of slavery and how a handmade quilt helps a little girl leave home for freedom.

With a poet's keen ear, Tonya Hegamin tells the account of a little girl whose mother is a secret agent on the Underground Railroad. Before sending her daughter north to freedom, the mother sews a quilt for her daughter, not only to guide her with its symbols of moss and the north star, but also to remind her always that the smiling girl in the center of the quilt is "most loved in all the world." Strikingly illustrated in unique textile collaging and expressive acrylic paintings.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Hegamin (M+0 4EVR) tackles difficult concepts of slavery, courage and sacrifice in a poignant book about a mother who sends her daughter on the Underground Railroad, armed with a quilt she has made for her; the mother, identifying herself as an "agent," stays behind to help other slaves escape. The quilt's centerpiece depicts a smiling girl: the mother wants her daughter to remember always that she is "the most loved in all the world." The story of slaves finding their way to freedom via directions disguised in patchwork (whether or not this happened is still debated, the author explains in an endnote) is made freshly dramatic by Hegamin's focus on the separation of mother and child. Cabrera's (Beauty, Her Basket) broad sweeping paintings-filled with shadowy images, occasionally bordering on the abstract, with some pages merely washes of color-add a deeper note of somberness to the spare text, told in a child's voice. The narrator's report that "when Mama come home/ she have whip marks 'cross her back" and "tear marks down her face" may call for explanation, but young readers will share her shock at her mother's final action and sympathize with her grief. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

A slave mother creates a quilt to guide and comfort her young daughter, whom she is sending to freedom along the Underground Railroad. In a straightforward, heartfelt story written in dialect, Hegamin shows that a woman can love her child dearly yet still give her up, in the youngster's best interest. An author's note explains that debates over the authenticity of quilts used as maps continue; Hegamin states that she used the quilt as a symbol and story device. The artwork matches the tone of the story well, featuring dark images interspersed with quilted blocks that bring brightness to the primitive-style paintings. Patchwork endpapers that incorporate recognizable quilt blocks add to the homespun feel of the story. Paired with Deborah Hopkinson's Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt (Knopf, 2003), this book would be a useful discussion point for supplementing Underground Railroad units.-Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada

Kirkus Reviews
Spare language and vibrant art present a powerful message of hope during American slavery, through a mother's sacrifice and her gift of freedom. From her young daughter's perspective, readers learn of the brutal labor and punishment her mother endures. While the child witnesses slavery's atrocities during the day, her mother returns each evening to sew a quilt. She explains that each square symbolizes the road out of bondage; the central patch depicts a little girl who is "the most loved in all the world." Mixed-media illustrations capture the mother's urgency as she leads her daughter to the Underground Railroad, her red kerchief the dominant detail against the dark night sky. While the mother returns to her life in slavery alone, a golden lantern shines against the vast imposing background. Cabrera's rich acrylic paintings and textile collage add immediacy to the gripping text. An unflinching depiction of slavery's impact on families, this selection's reassuring message of love shatters all bonds. (author's note, further resources) (Picture book. 6-9)
From the Publisher
"Spare language and vibrant art present a powerful message of hope during American slavery, through a mother’s sacrifice and her gift of freedom. . . . Cabrera’s rich acrylic paintings and textile collage add immediacy to the gripping text. An unflinching depiction of slavery’s impact on families, this selection’s reassuring message of love shatters all bonds."—Kirkus Reviews

"Hegamin creates a poignant voice for her young narrator, with a folksy and youthful simplicity enhanced by subtle lyricism . . . The story will elicit plenty of discusion."—The Bulletin

"Cabrera’s artwork matches textured, muddy paintings—the dark, anonymous dots of hunched cotton pickers is particularly affecting—with swaths of appropriately distressed cloth. An educational author’s note caps off this haunting yet hopeful presentation."—Booklist

"In a straightforward, heartfelt story written in dialect, Hegamin shows that a woman can love her child dearly yet still give her up, in the youngster’s best interest. An author’s note explains that debates over the authenticity of quilts used as maps continue; Hegamin states that she used the quilt as a symbol and story device. The artwork matches the tone of the story well, featuring dark images interspersed with quilted blocks that bring brightness to the primitive-style paintings. Patchwork endpapers that incorporate recognizable quilt blocks add to the homespun feel of the story."
—School Library Journal

"This excellent book also showcases strong artwork (acrylic paint and textile collage) by artist Cozbi A. Cabrera, well known for making handcrafted cloth dolls. Her art conveys not only the details of this Underground Railroad story, but the beauty and handwork of the quilting, so central to this story."BookPage

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547528762
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/12/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 514,884
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • File size: 20 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Tonya Cherie Hegamin decided that she would be a writer when she was eight years old. Between then and now, she has also been a social worker, an educator, a vintage clothing vendor, a vegan soul food caterer, and the program director of a poetry retreat. Tonya is a graduate of Cave Canem and a native of Pennsylvania.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 31, 2010

    Hegamin takes the troubling topic of slavery and shines the tender light of hope upon it. The vivid illustrations, a mix of paintings and textile in the shape of quilt squares, are sure to capture the attention of the book's young readers.

    This book tells the story of a little slave girl who watches the pain and anguish her mother endures as a result of slavery. She sees the horrors the slaves go through every day, and yet she finds joy in the quilt blocks that her mother is making. As her mother sews, she tells the little girl the story of each block. A log cabin is for safety. The brightest star is for you to follow. The slave girl's favorite quilt block is the one of the little girl who is the most loved in all the world. The mother is making this quilt to help those who are escaping on the Underground Railroad. The mother does not leave slavery on the Underground Railroad, but makes a choice to stay in slavery and help others escape. The story is written appropriately for young children and is a good discussion starter about slavery. The beautiful pictures illustrate the story superbly. The paintings and textiles together bring life to the little slave girl and the quilt that her mother is making.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2009

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    Posted January 24, 2012

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