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Most Loved in All the World
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Most Loved in All the World

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  32 reviews
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
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 12th 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published December 20th 2008)
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Julie Fischer
Tonya Cherie Hegamin story of a mother who loves her child enough to send her away with a group of other slaves. She has stitched with her bloodied has late into the night a quilt that will guide these runaways to their freedom. This is such a touching story that which is difficult to understand for those of us who can hang on to our children in our home where they are free. Cozbi A. Cabrera's gorgeous illustration are as beautiful as the words. As a little girl I lived in a safe house. I often ...more
Adriel
This is the saddest children's book ever. It is the story of a girl who's mother is a field slave and who is sent by the mother onto the underground railroad with a handmade quilt to help guide her way and to remember that her mother loved her. I cried. In context is is a fascinating book of love told to children who's parents cannot care for them, giving them hope that the parents wanted better for their children then what they had to offer. The quilt pieces and dark, rich illustrations lend to ...more
babyhippoface
A little girl tells the story of her life with her mother, a slave who works the fields and who is sewing a freedom quilt for her daughter. As the mother pieces the quilt, she repeatedly reminds her daughter of the meaning of each item pictured: a log cabin, which represents safety, a star to guide, a tree with moss growing on a certain side, a happy little girl surrounded by a tattered red heart, her mother's love. Then she wraps her daughter in the quilt and sends her to freedom with a group o ...more
Becky Birtha
Of the mother in Most Loved in All the World, author Tonya Cherie Hegamin writes, in the end note, "When I wrote this story, I envisioned a woman, a spy and secret agent on the Underground Railroad, a woman who valued freedom so much that she would desire her child's more than her own." In spare lines of unrhymed poetry, this painful story of love and separation, a theme all too familiar to our enslaved African-American ancestors, is told in first person from the child's point of view. The paint ...more
Elfdart
this was such a good story. i just flipped through it with the intention of putting it down, but it was really touching. it is a story about a girl and her mother, both of which are slaves at the time of the black slave trade, and the story is told through the eyes of the girl, who is very young and doesnt really grasp the reality of the situation. she just knows that her mother works hard in the fields and that she helps her by rubbing some salve in them at night. her mother makes quilt patche ...more
Lea
This book has a powerful message of love. It paints a picture of slave life for a mother sending her child to freedom and the symbolism of the quilt.
I also enjoyed the "for parents and educators" section at the back.
Lisa
This will be a good addition to the reading list for teaching the underground railroad and the significance of quilts during that time. I felt the heartache and pain of the mama sending her child off in hopes that she will fin freedom. I felt the pain and heartache of the little girl who didn't want to I leave her mama because she was needed to rub salve in her cut hands. Authors note at the end explains the historical viewpoint of the use of quilts in the underground railroad.
Jessi
Beautiful illustrations, tremendously sad subject matter (obviously.) Slavery is hard to talk about with kids of any age, really, and there are some books out there that present the issue in a light that very small children can both comprehend (at least the historical aspect- can any of us really comprehend the atrocity of slavery?) and not be too frightened by, but this is not one of those books. I would recommend it to older elementary kids, even though it is a picture book.
Sandy
Absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking story! I couldn't imagine giving up my child, yet so many slaves did give up their children during this time in the hopes that their child would know freedom! The illustrations are gorgeous, so touching, especially the ones of the mother sitting in front of the fire stitching a quilt for her daughter after working from sun up to sun down picking cotton. Genre-historical fiction. C-2008
Kris
I've read several books about the Underground Railroad involving quilts, but this one, where the mother sends her child away to freedom while she stays behind, and the quilt she makes showing a happy girl surrounded by a big red heart made from her mother's shirt - got me a little choked up at the reference desk! The art is beautiful - paintings and fabric. Really, really touching and lovely.
Bethe
wow - how did I not read this when it arrived in the book order? Powerful story of a brave slave mother sending her beloved daughter away to freedom. The mixed media illustrations, acrylic and fabric, lend feeling and authenticity to the story. There is a thoughtful author note at the end, accompanied by further reading. Add to your Civil War/Underground Railroad lessons.
Marilyn
Beautiful story of a mother who is a slave in the South that sends her little girl on the underground railroad without her. This after she makes her a quilt with symbols on it of how much she loves her. Very tender. Jac looked up at me, "If you were a slave and tried to send me away to be free, I'd say, "No way, I'm staying right here." ;)
Rebecca
Jan 21, 2009 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 2nd grade and up
Shelves: picture-books
Another Underground Railroad book. This one tells the story of a mother who is a slave in the fields by day, and by night sews a quilt that will instruct her small daughter in how to escape. Cozbi A. Cabrera's mixed-media illustrations and quilt patches are wonderful, and the story brought tears to my eyes. Includes an author's note in the back.
Amy Carr
An exquisite, touching book about a mother and her daughter and the amazing quilt and chance for freedom she gives her daughter. I've cried every time I've read the book...even to a group of 3rd graders! The illustrations are wonderful and the story heart-wrenching and extremely touching. This is one I want to own....
Kristin
A little girl’s mother helps her escape slavery on the Underground Railroad. Gorgeous illustrations and poignant spare verse text tell of a woman’s sacrifice to save her daughter. Story reminds me a bit of Jacqueline Woodson’s Show Way.

Just presenting this book at the CSL meeting made me go teary-eyed.
Tanya W
At first I didn't think this was a 5 star read... but after reading it 3 times, it definitely is. The kids loved it and it gave us an opportunity to talk about slavery and the underground railroad.

This is a Beehive Nominee for 2011 (Children's Literature Association of Utah) in the picture category.
T Crockett
This book is painfully beautiful. There's quilting, embroidery, painting and writing that just sings. I don't know quite what age the book would be ideal for, since it deals with some of the violence/realities of slavery and the Underground Railroad, yet it's a picture book. As an adult I loved it
Shauna
Sweet story. We have been studying American History . . . great opener to talk of the Underground Railroad. My girls decided that it was too sad to get very many stars . . . their mother cried a couple of times during the read aloud! I loved it!
Megan
This story of a slave's sacrifice for her daughter's freedom brought tears to my eyes--not a common occurance for me! This will be a great addition to any study of the Underground Railroad or as a read-aloud for parent and child.
Amber Henrie
This book did a good job of addressing a sensitive topic. It was very sad but it shows a lot about how African American mothers, during the time of slavery in American, would have felt.
Heather
This picture book has a sweet story, but I particularly enjoyed the quilted (and painted) illustrations. Words and pictures combined make it beautiful for sharing.
Hedgebrook
Dec 23, 2008 Hedgebrook marked it as to-read
Can't wait to read Hedgebrook alumna, Tonya Cherie Hegamin's new book! Check out her other wonderful books: Pemba's Song: A Ghost Story and M+O 4EVR.
Melanie
My only problem with this book is the language. It is most likely historically accurate language, but it makes it difficult to read to a young child.
Tasha
This is a 2011 Beehive Book Award winnner.

A bittersweet story of a slave and mother seeking freedom for others, including her young daughter.
Tessa
Great story, history and graphics. Slavery is such a hard topic that I appreciate any book that can help me explain this period to my kiddos.
Colleen
Have read this to the kids 3 times now and cannot get through it without crying. Really great illustrations as well.
Teri
Nice introduction to the undergroud railroad. I think my kids will definitely appreciate it more in a few years.
Robin
Very touching story of a mother's love and the sacrifices African American mothers made during slavery.
Lupine
This book is lovely. The story of a young slave girl, her mother, a quilt and freedom. Made me cry.
Jason Penckofer
Heartbreaking and uplifting. The acrylic and textile collage illustrations are very effective.
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Tonya Cherie Hegamin is the author of the young adult novel M+O 4EVR and the coauthor with Marilyn Nelson of Pemba’s Song. She received an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and a Christopher Award for her picture book Most Loved in All the World, illustrated by Cozbi Cabrera. Tonya Cherie Hegamin is the creative writing coordinator at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.
More about Tonya Cherie Hegamin...
M+O 4EVR Willow

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