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Displaying 1 - 30 of 495 reviews
Profile Image for Darla.
3,513 reviews617 followers
February 19, 2022
And Mama loved this baby us. Yes, she loved this baby up.

A tribute to the generations that have gone before showing so many the way to freedom. Woodson begins six generations back with Soonie's Great-Grandma who was sold at the age of seven. She had to leave her ma and pa behind, but took a scrap of muslin with her as well as needles and thread dyed bright red with berries from the chokecherry tree. Sewing skills are passed down as each mama loves her baby up. A quilt sewn with stars and moons and roads provide a map for those escaping their chains. Filled with history and hope, this is a wonderful book to share in February and all year long.
Profile Image for Mariah Roze.
1,029 reviews933 followers
September 8, 2017
Love this author, so when I saw this book in our school's library I had to read it to them!

She does a great job telling a story through history from slavery all the way to today.
Profile Image for Melki.
6,037 reviews2,387 followers
February 5, 2018
My second book this month about African American quiltmaking and oral tradition. With stunning illustrations by Hudson Talbott, the story tells how certain quilt patterns may have guided runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad. I truly enjoyed meeting the remarkable women in Woodson's past.
Profile Image for Mid-Continent Public Library.
591 reviews195 followers
February 22, 2022
And Mama loved this baby us. Yes, she loved this baby up.

A tribute to the generations that have gone before showing so many the way to freedom. Woodson begins six generations back with Soonie's Great-Grandma who was sold at the age of seven. She had to leave her ma and pa behind, but took a scrap of muslin with her as well as needles and thread dyed bright red with berries from the chokecherry tree. Sewing skills are passed down as each mama loves her baby up. A quilt sewn with stars and moons and roads provide a map for those escaping their chains. Filled with history and hope, this is a wonderful book to share in February and all year long. *Reviewed by Darla from Red Bridge*
Profile Image for Becky.
1,384 reviews1,650 followers
December 16, 2021
I loved this story up. Yes, I loved this story up.

I am feeling a bit of GR Reading Challenge anxiety. I am determined to meet my goal of 100 books and NOT lower it (though we'll see how successful I am at this soon), which means that I need to finish 23 more by the end of the next two weeks... And so to that end, I scoped out my library's shortest available offerings and downloaded some of them that looked good. This was one of them. You can't get much shorter than 12 minutes long! (It's not cheating if there's a book record. I asked the GR Reading Challenge gods, and they confirmed.)

I will admit that I had, before reading this, no idea who Jacqueline Woodson was. I would have thought a romance writer, or contemporary fiction, maybe? Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not really my cuppa most of the time. But after reading this, I will definitely by scoping out more of her work.

This was SUCH a short story, but it was evocative and poetic (meant in a good way this time!) and sweet, while at the same time being about a subject that is so cruel and sad. This story is about Soonie, who is passed down the generational knowledge of how to sew quilts, and not just how to quilt, but how to sew hidden markers into her work to help runaway slaves know the way to safety and freedom. That's the Show Way.

Hiding messages or code or directions in textiles has a long history in itself, and I love the concept so much. That could be a story in itself, the making of a Show Way quilt, but this super short story manages to also encompass a lovely (if cruelly necessary) heritage passed down, and a strong family bond, even when members of that family are sold away and never seen again, as well as how oral knowledge is passed on and down, since many couldn't read. This was portrayed so simply here, in a story for kids, but conveyed so much and so powerfully the ache of having that as part of your familial history. It hurts my heart that it is part of our nation's history.

Anyway... if you have 12 minutes free, give this a listen. It's worth it. :)
Profile Image for Phil J.
726 reviews55 followers
January 31, 2018
Fascinating and beautiful. Woodson once again tells a tale that kindergartners can access and adults will appreciate. I read this book to 7th and 8th graders, and none of them felt that it was out of their age range.

Woodson's story describes heritage that is passed down through the women of her family from the earliest slave days through the present, and the role that women have played in making a "Show Way," which is to say a way of communicating truth and freedom. Reading this book enriches your understanding of Woodson's middle-grade works, particularly Brown Girl Dreaming and Hush.

Newbery Comment
This is a good example of a book that needs a new category. It is not quite an early reader, so it doesn't merit a Giesel award, and it doesn't stand entirely on either its art (Caldecott) or its writing (Newbery). It's an excellent book that combines words and pictures for an audience of grades K-8, and we don't have an award for that at the present.
Profile Image for Linda Lipko.
1,904 reviews43 followers
January 7, 2020
A wonderfully written story of Woodson's family and the impact of slavery that resulted in strength and power.

Written in dialect, the author's framework is rhythmically unique. At the age of seven, great grandmother is sold in auction. Framing quilts that showed the way in prints and paths, this is a history of freedom.

The words and the illustrations together create a powerful and wonderful story of resiliency.
Five Stars. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
June 26, 2015
I just read and used in class Brown Girl Dreaming and one reader said this children's illustrated book would pair nicely with it, and she was right. Both are about legacy, family, history, civil rights, lovingly illustrated by Hudson Talbott, quilting, stitching her history and the history of civil rights. Show Way is the path, the road to the past and the future, guided by family and your people, documented in art and literature.
Profile Image for Alex Johnson.
384 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2020
When I heard Jacqueline Woodson via the podcast Rewrite Radio read the words of this book in her Festival of Faith and Writing address, I knew I had to read this book. Woodson threads the story of her ancestry, telling about all the people who were enslaved and who sewed to show other people freedom. The art is truly phenomenal, but what I really loved was how this story shows that heritage is passed down to us both in what we do and who we are. Woodson shows how she learned strength and courage from her family, specifically the woman (yeahhhhh) dating six generations back; I believe it can show other people how they also come from strength and courage. Poignant and accessible.
Profile Image for Beth.
403 reviews
May 30, 2021
Love love love this book, story and illustrations and history and everything about it.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
3,996 reviews83 followers
December 9, 2018
Oh, Jacqueline Woodson. You have such a way with stories. This book is pretty close to perfect, tracing the lineage of an African-American family through the female line, all the way to slavery. The illustrations are beautiful and perfectly compliment the text. Love this book.
Profile Image for Jeimy.
4,733 reviews32 followers
June 1, 2017
Matriarchal line as only Jacqueline Woodson would trace it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Profile Image for Kris.
3,077 reviews70 followers
March 23, 2020
This is beautiful. It weaves together the story of a family, through the maternal line, by tracing the show way quilt with routes to escape slavery, all the way to modern day. It is illustrated perfectly, and Woodson has gorgeous phrasing here, repeating how each mama "loved that baby up". It is starts with a piece of muslin, and ends with a piece of paper. Just perfect.
Profile Image for Meghan Porter.
38 reviews
October 26, 2011
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson is an absolutely stunning book. It tells the story of many generations of African-American woman from slavery to freedom to the civil right movement to present day. It begins with Soonie's great grandmother being taken away from her family when she is 7 to go to another planation. All she is given is a piece of muslin and some thread. She learns to sew from Big Mama who teahes her to quilt show ways. A show way is a quilt that helps slaves find their way to freedom. The book continues with each generation making these Show Ways even though many of them grow up in a time where slavery is not longer an issue. The book ends with the author telling her daughter the story and teaching her how to make a show way.

I found this book to be both moving an beautiful. Hudson Talbott uses a combination of chalk, muslin, and watercolors to create the beautiful images that are in this book. They flow so wonderfully with the words of the story that you almost have to pay just as much attention to the pictures as you do the words. For example, on the 9th opening of the book, Woodson talks about how Mathis May's husband gets shoot and killed for trying to run to freedom. The picture show the eat coast of the United states with a big red slash through it. In the red slash you see a man with a gun and two dogs chasing a man. The man that they are chasing looks like he just got shot.

The cut out cover was also very striking. You can see quilted images all around a diamond shape cut out but the cut out is in a bright and vibrant with a little African-American girl holding a candle in an orange background. The contrast of the vibrant on dark is very striking and really pulls you in.

Overall I enjoyed this book a great deal. The only problem that I found with it was that it was very long and took a very long time to read. Other than that, I found that it was a very moving and interesting book.
Profile Image for Laura Rumohr.
54 reviews
October 31, 2009
This picture book is written for elementary school students. It tells stories of Jacqueline Woodson's family history. Starting many years before her time her family began using quilts to tell stories and pass along messages. These quilts have connected her family for generations. Her great-great-great-great grandmother began sewing quilts while she was a slave in South Carolina. Her quilts helped send messages to other slaves through symbols and pictures. Later, her family used these quilt squares as inspiration to move forward and cross boundaries to become something extraordinary. Woodson's grandmother was an educated and free woman. She was a teacher and had twins. Her daughters (Woodson's aunt and mother) followed in their grandmother's footsteps by trying to bring change for African American women and the quilt squares continued to give them inspiration. Now Jaqueline Woodson writes stories that have been inspired by those who came before her and she continues to sew story quilts today.

This story reminds all of us that we are where we came from. Woodson's family stories/quilts have helped her become who she is today, a remarkable woman who uses her words to inspire others. The illustrations in this story look almost like a collage along with quilt-like patterns throughout continuing the "quilt" theme. This is a wonderful picture book to help us discuss family history. One of my favorite things about the book is the cover :). It has a cut-out that gives a glimpse of a little girl lighting the way for others to follow, a wonderful symbol of hope that reflects many women in Woodson's family.

Profile Image for Laura.
96 reviews1 follower
July 6, 2016
This story is an account of the author’s lineage back through time over the course of 8 generations. It begins with a devastating image of the first girl in the lineage being sold into slavery at 7 years old as she leaves with only thread and muslin. She learns to quilt as a way to pass messages long., hence the title ‘Show Way’. Her daughter follows in her footsteps by learning to quilt, to share messages, but also by being sold into slavery at 7 years old. The story continues on through the generations showing how times change as future generations are born free, becoming teachers, marching for freedom, and ultimately culminating in the author laughing with her own daughter. The illustrations add depth by using quilt designs to reinforce the subtle, yet powerful text. Following the story through the generations may cause confusion for some readers, but the story gracefully tells the story of African Americans fight for freedom and equality. Good to use with grades 3-5 to analyze the struggles faced by African Americans, but also the idea that they held on to hope as the courageously persevered through unfair times.
Profile Image for Vannessa Anderson.
Author 0 books177 followers
March 10, 2017
The beautifully and colorful illustrations helped tell the story of generations of slave girls being sold from their masters plantations away from their families before the age of eight and their accomplishments. Fast forward ahead to Soonie born generations later and the hardships she and her family endured after the abolishment of slavery and how Soonie’s children, through her great-great-great grandchildren was able to experience freedom in the way she, Soonie, and the women before her could never imagine.

Show Way was a story told very well.
Profile Image for Anna.
936 reviews104 followers
November 18, 2008
This book is absolutely beautiful. The illustrations are some of the prettiest. The colors, the designs... I think the illustrator used photo-realism because a lot of the paintings are a mix of photos and paint.

The story itself is beautiful, too. Woodson manages to say and show so much with so little words. It's no wonder this is a Newbery Honor book.
Profile Image for Sarah.
81 reviews4 followers
October 27, 2009
Tracing back to her great-grandmother’s great-grandmother, Jacqueline Woodson (the author) explains to her daughter the significance of the art of quilt making in their family. Based on the real history of her family, the author weaves together a story of the fortitude of the women that came before her. By including her daughter to this line of females, she shows that the strength of such women will continue on to future generations. The author’s poetic phrases echo the story-telling traditions of slave songs and lullabies, carrying on the details of how each woman endured hardships, even after each woman has passed from this world. The illustrator’s multimedia art works well with the author’s words to convey the histories of these women. All together the poetry and art make for a very pleasurable and satisfying piece of historical fiction.

This book could be used in conjunction with various units of study. One way would be to have students study the history of quilts and their significance. Each set of students could take a different group of people who has lived in the United States, for example: Quakers, Amish, African-Americans, Jews of Eastern European decent, communities in the Appalachian Mountains, Pioneers, Mexican-Americans, or any other groups that would be interesting and relevant. Students could find out what materials were used, whether or not these traditions were passed on from cultures in other countries, what patterns were used, the significance of these patterns, and weather or not their quilt-making art is still around today. Students could look at the social, economic, and historical significances to each cultural group. Then presentations can be made allowing students to finally discuss and write about how similarities and differences among the cultures in their making and using quilts.

The subject of quilts can also be extended to math. In a geometry unit, the idea of tessellations—shapes and how they can fit together to form pictures and patterns—can be taught in a relevant, interesting manner. Students can learn/review geometric shapes, looking specifically at the shapes of quilt pieces. Students can study what shapes made up certain pattern. Often many smaller pieces made up a larger shape or picture. Sometimes a quilt block simply involved cutting a piece of fabric into a certain unique form such as a boy, girl, house, or other significant shape and using a sewing style known as appliqué. The teacher can teach how quilt-makers need to be able to measure, estimate, multiply and divide, and use fractions in order to figure out how much fabric and thread would be needed. The importance of uniformity among quilt pieces and blocks, as well as with stitching, would be stressed. Depending on the level of the students, angle measurement could also be taught in conjunction with the unit. As a final project, Students could make their own quilt. This could be done in groups, encouraging them to work together—just as quilt-makers often have done in the past—to make a quilt using everything that they have learned. This may not be a full-size quilt, but it should give the students a chance to practice and demonstrate knowledge of the use of math in making a quilt. The students can either sew the quilt or make a paper or mixed media version of a quilt, as long as it involves the steps of designing it, cutting out pieces, and physically applying them to a flat surface. This unit would give students a tangible way to learn about a significant, historic way people used geometry and tessellations to make functional art.

January 25, 2013
Show way is a story about nine generation of African American women who throughout the years has inspires each other with their courage, strength, family traditions and their dreams of freedom. The theme for “Show Way” comes from the lives of the author Jacqueline Woodson female ancestors on her mother side who were quilters and artists and freedom fighters. The illustrations in the book are vibrant colors and designed look like quilted pieces. These illustrations brought the text on the pages to life. The recommended age(s) for this book would be Primary (K-3rd grade),
Intermediate (4th – 6th)

Show Way won the following awards: Newbery Honor 2006, ALA Notable Book 2006 , NCSS Notable Book 2006 NCTE Notable Book 2006. The criteria for the Newbery Honor is that the book must have been published in English in the United States the previous year, that author must be a citizen or resident of the United States. The book must be considered for its theme, presentation (clarity, accuracy and organization), plot, characters, setting, and style, relate to a child audience, contribute to literature and must stand alone and not as a part of a multimedia presentation. Based on these criteria I can see how Show Way received the Newbery Honor Book award.

I enjoyed reading this book; it was easy to follow the story line from one generation to another and provided a clear picture how the journey of one ancestor help paved the way for the next generations. I would use the book Show Way in my classroom to have discussion and activities on family history, slavery and the Civil War. This book would this book with 11 years old for independent reading and with 6 years old student for read aloud. This book can be used with activities in language arts, science, math, art, and social studies.

I was able to find this book as a audiovisual which was ready by Ms. Diahann Carrol. I really enjoyed listening to the book and how it really came to life. By listening to the book I was able to close my eyes and bring it to life.

Here is the http address:
Profile Image for Ch13_julie.
22 reviews
February 27, 2013
Although the exact date of this historical fiction book is not specifically stated, it starts out during times of slavery and as the story is told we move through each generation of this family. The story is about a girl named Soonie and how her family came to be. Soonie's family has made "Show Way" quilts for many generations. The quilts contain messages that help slaves to find freedom. As each new generation is born they take something with them from the past. They are constantly trying to find a better life than the generations before them had.

In this story we see themes of bravery, family, love, literacy, and civil rights. It is a beautiful story featuring a strong family that did everything in their power to help those around them. The story is written in a semi-predictable format as each child of the new generation is born. The illustrations in this book, done by Hudson Talbott, are absolutely gorgeous and intricate. They are made done with mixed media. Each page is filled with emotional and vivid illustrations that allow the reader to understand the time period and connect with the characters as we follow through the story of Soonie's family. Some pages are filled with images of the quilt that connects so many generations of this family together. We get to hear and see a little piece of all these different lives from cover to cover.

I really enjoyed this unique story. It is different from many of the civil rights historical fiction books I have read in the past. I think it would be perfect for grades 3-8. Depending on what the teacher's purpose for using the book, it could easily be adapted for many age groups. Young students would need some background knowledge to fully grasp this story, but older students could read it on their own while learning about this time period. The story features strong women in this family and how they pass on their strength to each newborn daughter. I think that it is a powerful book to have in the classroom.
Profile Image for Valerie.
52 reviews
September 28, 2009
This book tells the historical stories of the roads the strong woman in the author, Jacqueline Wood’s family traveled in their lives and the love and quilts that tied them together. Starting with her great-great-great-great grandmother’s slavery in South Carolina, to her great-great, great grandmother’s quilt making, to her great, great grandmother (Mathis May) sewing clothes and quilts helping slaves to escape slavery, to the freedom, cotton picking, and quilt making (and selling) of her great grandmother, Soonie. Then her grandmother, Georgiana was the first free, educated, woman in her family; she became a teacher had twins, Jacqueline’s aunt and mother. These two woman “walked in a line to change the laws that kept black people and white people living separate,” while holding pieces of their family’s quilts for bravery. Jacqueline was the first truly free woman in her family, and she continues to sew quilts and tell the stories of her family and other’s “Show Ways.”

A Thoughtful Review:
What a creative way to develop a family's story and experience throughout history. Woodson's cultural and repetitive text structure (ie: "stayed on, grew tall and straight-boned"..."there's a road, girl, there's a road"..."loved that [girl:] up so, yes, she love that [girl:] up") carries readers through the years and the strong woman of Woodson's family. The illustrations are somewhat cartoon-like, however, vivid and supportive of the text. The quilt pattern in present on every page, supporting the idea that these quilts truly are at the core of this family.
Profile Image for Paige.
24 reviews
February 27, 2014
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson is a story based on the author's own family history. The story starts with Soonie's great-grandma who was sold as a slave to a plantation in South Carolina. The only thing she was able to take with her was some muslin that her mother had given her, two needles, and red thread. She eventually sewed a Show-Way, a map that slaves follow in their escape to freedom. This knowledge was passed down to her daughter and several generations of women living through the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s to today.

This is a very moving story and a very important one as well. The author must be very proud to share her ancestors stories, all women, right up to her own little daughter. The visuals support the story in bringing to life the history being described. For example, behind the illustration of two young girls in their Sunday best are pictures of Martin Luther King Jr., a picture of a bus burning, newspaper clippings that say "High Court Bans School Segregation," and signs that say "Colored Entrance."

I would use this book in conjunction with a family history unit where students make a family tree and interview their grandparents and great grandparents to piece together their family history. This would be a wonderful way to inspire students to learn about their ancestors as the author of this book did.
Profile Image for Christine.
34 reviews
February 11, 2016
Review of Nonprint: Reading Rainbow: Show Way (DVD)
This is a Reading Rainbow episode that focuses on the book, Show Way, by Jacqueline Woodson. The book is a moving picture book that goes through one family’s generations from slavery through today. The story is told from the viewpoint of a great granddaughter. The strength of the African American spirit is depicted through the family tradition of quilting. The quilting starts as a way to show, through pictures, the way to escape slavery and to become free. As the book moves through generations, the quilts and pictures start to show the way for strength through civil rights. The book does a fantastic job of capturing the bonds of families, even though they were continuously separated, by holding on to love and by sharing their story through the gift of quilting. The illustrations are beautiful. They capture the atrocities along with the love that never died within the family. The video of the book is nicely done. The camera focuses on small parts of the illustrations to bring to focus intricate portions of the illustrations around the characters’ emotions and themes in the quilts. After the book is read, Reading Rainbow has several special features around families to help young readers connect the themes of family from the book to their own families.
52 reviews1 follower
March 10, 2010
A book about a family’s history, Show Way is a glimpse into the past about a family’s rise from slavery to the present day (well when the book was written). The story is about the family’s struggles to past down their history. The “Show Way” is a quilt that knitted to be a secret map for slaves. Slaves follow the map to freedom. The author is the one of the present generations of women in her family. She wrote the story as a way to share her history with her daughter and the world. The rhythm of the story and the information pertained in the story is very interesting to readers. The illustrations are great. A few pages contain what appear to clippings from letters, posters, and pictures from the past. It is truly a book to discuss history. Also, the book could be used to talk about how history and the present are connected to each other. The author is the great-great granddaughter of the first woman in the story. It is inspiring because the women in the story were strong individuals and it was nice to see how their family triumphed throughout history. It is important because many African Americans cannot trace their family lineage back as far as Ms. Woodson.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 495 reviews