The Quilt

( 2 )


1944. Wartime.

A six-year-old boy goes to spend the summer with his grandmother Alida in a small town near the Canadian border. With the men all gone off to fight, the women are left to run the farms. There’s plenty for the boy to do—trying to help with the chores, getting to know the dog, and the horses, cows, pigs, and chickens.

But when his cousin Kristina goes into labor, he can’t do a thing. Instead, the house fills with women come to help...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$5.99 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (30) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $2.79   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   
The Quilt

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$5.99 price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.


1944. Wartime.

A six-year-old boy goes to spend the summer with his grandmother Alida in a small town near the Canadian border. With the men all gone off to fight, the women are left to run the farms. There’s plenty for the boy to do—trying to help with the chores, getting to know the dog, and the horses, cows, pigs, and chickens.

But when his cousin Kristina goes into labor, he can’t do a thing. Instead, the house fills with women come to help and to wait, and to work on a quilt together. This is no common, everyday quilt, but one that contains all the stories of the boy’s family. The quilt tells the truth, past and future: of happiness, courage, and pain; of the greatest joy, and the greatest loss. And as they wait, the women share these memorable stories with the boy.

During World War II, while his father is in Europe fighting and his mother is working in Chicago, a five-year-old boy goes to live with his grandmother in a rural Norwegian American community in Minnesota. Based on events from the author's life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A follow-up to Alida's Song, The Quilt by Gary Paulsen relates the boy's experiences at age six, spending time at his grandmother's Minnesota farm in the summer of 1944. Here, they, along with the other women whose husbands are off fighting, help a neighbor who is ready to give birth. In this moving sequel, the boy learns about life, death and the quilt that is a pictorial record of his familial ancestry. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Third in his series of books paying tribute to his grandmother, this book follows The Cookcamp and Alida's Song. It tells the story of the comfort and memories woven into a quilt by the women who hold down the fort when the men go off to war. The main character, a 6-year-old boy, watches the women, interested in their actions, often confused by them, and ultimately learning of their love and strength symbolized in the quilt. A worthwhile story to be told, it is better intended for adult audiences. The slow pace and reminiscent tone gives it the feel of a memoir, which it partially is. The boy is not so much a main character as an observer. The book is an interesting historical piece on how women helped each other in small communities and took on all the tasks of life while they were on their own, supporting one another through the pain of birth to the pain of death. 2004, Yearling/Random House, Ages 12 up.
—Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-In this semi-autobiographical novella, Paulsen again writes lovingly about the grandmother who provided such warmth and comfort in his difficult young life during and after World War II. The protagonist, first met in The Cookcamp (Orchard, 1991) and later in Alida's Song (Delacorte, 1999) is still "the boy," an impersonal term that keeps readers at a distance. It is hard to feel empathy with an anonymous child who is described with adult sensibilities, even though some of the scenes are powerfully written. Especially evocative is the description of the boy and his grandmother's stay with a pregnant cousin who delivers a son and then learns that her husband has been killed in action. However, when the six-year-old questions his grandmother about the men his mother brings back to their apartment and whether they have anything to do with the war, the observation seems forced. Also, the pacing is slow and deliberate. The quilt of the title is how he learns about his heritage and his extended family. However, it is mentioned at the end of the first chapter and not addressed again until nearly 50 pages later. This story works best as an adult reflection and does not have much appeal or relevancy to younger readers.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In 1944, with his father at war and his mother working the night shift at the munitions factory, the narrator-"the boy"-goes to live with his grandmother Alida in northern Minnesota. At a neighboring farm, seven miles and seven hours away, Alida and several local women have gathered for the birth of Kristina's baby. They share a ritual of holding a quilt and telling "quilt stories" about their lives and those who have passed. It's a quiet, beautiful tale of magic in the faces and hands of the women holding the cloth. So much of life, death, and the strength of women is told in evocative prose rich in vivid details. Begun in The Cookcamp (1991) and continued in Alida's Song (1999), this is Paulsen's ode to his grandmother and what women "had to do to keep life, and families, together during the war." A story to savor and share and Paulsen at his best. (Fiction. 8-12)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440229360
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/11/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 520,612
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1160L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 7.67 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Paulsen
Three-time Newbery-winning author Gary Paulsen, hailed as "one of the best-loved writers alive" by the New York Times, divides his time between his ranch in New Mexico, a sailboat on the Pacific Ocean, and his dog-kennel in Alaska. He's written over 200 books for young people, stories that have been embraced by readers of all ages.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)