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Under the Quilt of Night
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Under the Quilt of Night

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  161 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Award-winning duo Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome combine their talents once more for this sequel to the best-selling Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. Traveling late one night, a runaway slave girl spies a quilt hanging outside a house. The quilt's center is a striking deep blue -- a sign that the people inside are willing to help her escape. Can she bravely navai ...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Aladdin (first published 2002)
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Oct 18, 2008 Mahrya rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 2nd and 3rd Graders
Shelves: juvenilia
Hopkinson, Deborah. Under the Quilt of Night, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, early reader, short chapter book.

Description: A young girl, along with her family, escapes from slavery and travels to Canada using the Underground Railroad. The story is told in the first person, although the narrator remains unnamed.

Review: Under the Quilt of Night is a compelling story that makes the historical topic of the Underground Railroad come alive for young readers. The book is divided into six chapters,
Victoria Leininger-halpern
Oct 12, 2014 Victoria Leininger-halpern rated it really liked it
This book gives a very realistic portrayal of what life was like for a runaway slave, and how the kindness from one person can mean the difference between captivity and freedom. It is told in verse about a group of slaves trying to escape their owners and run away to Canada, and the couple who help them do so.

The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful, and the use of bold colors, especially to color the sky, really give the story a great amount of depth that makes it even more enjo
Mar 06, 2016 Kendra rated it really liked it
Under the Quilt of Night is an excellent portrayal of the escape from slavery to freedom for young adults. It goes from the escape from the farm, through waiting in the dark of night, to hideaway houses, and almost getting caught. The historical fiction book is an easy read for younger students, and captures the realities of the time period very well.

While the text itself is intriguing, the illustrations are really what guide the story. The double page spreads feature vivid images of runaway sla
Natalie Rudolph
Feb 09, 2016 Natalie Rudolph rated it it was amazing
Under the Quilt of the Night (2002) Written by Deborah Hopkinson and Illustrated by James E. Ransome
This picture book is about a young, slave girl and her family who run away in the “quilt of the night” from their master. The book follows their run: showing them crossing the river, hiding away during the daytime, and eventually locating a house that is a part of the underground railroad. The signal for this safe house: a quilt with blue centers. The time spent at the safe house and traveling aw
Feb 26, 2015 Will rated it liked it
"Under the Quilt of Night" by Deborah Hopkinson presents a very tumultuous period of American history in a way that not only was digestible to younger audience but from a perspective that even older readers might find refreshing. The read was simple enough, maybe even too simple, as it seemed to be more poetic than content driven, but could still pose a challenge to students unfamiliar with poetic style. I paired "Under the quilt of Night" with "Chasing Freedom" by Nikki Grimes. These two books ...more
Logan Williams
Personal Reaction:
I really enjoyed reading this picture book that is a good introduction to begin reading chapter books because it is split up into 6 sections/chapters. This is the story about a young girl who is a slave that has escaped a plantation with several other slaves. Through the use of the Underground Railroad the troupe of runaways escape into Canada under the quilt of night. The story struck fear into the reader and helped them experience the danger that was present for slaves and un
Apr 04, 2012 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gr. 4-5
A great example of descriptive writing, using strong word choice, sensory images, and appropiate details to tell a fictional story of a young girl and her family and friends escaping slavery with help from the Underground Railroad. A model book for descriptive writing or it could be used as part of a theme unit on slavery for upper elementary.
Kimberly Hansen
Mar 03, 2016 Kimberly Hansen rated it it was amazing
This book is a mixture of true stories and possible folklore. Yes there were slaves who escaped to freedom through the underground railroad. But no records were kept of these activities and every part of the underground railroad was very secretive. The story follows a girls journey through the underground railroad. There are stories that quilts where hung outside safe houses and had messages sewn into them to tell the runaways if it was safe or not. This was a very good book to introduce escapin ...more
Michelle Schnell
1.) Opening:

Share this story:

When my son was little he loved to go up the road and play at his teacher’s house. She lived right up the street from us and everyday after school he would ask me if he could go to her house and I would tell him, “Go look to see if her garage door open,” because we both knew that if it was he could go, and if it wasn’t then he couldn’t. If it wasn’t open then that meant she was busy and he should come another time. It was a code or a signal between us. Walter didn’t
Daniel L.
A Story of Warmth in the Face of the Coldness of Slavery

This is a beautiful book by the same author and illustrator of Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. However, this time, the narrator remains anonymous but is not forgotten. Without undue melodrama, she tells how part of her family is about to be sold off; the time is now or never to escape, which she and part of her family does. Though the slaves are fleeing their cruel owners, the book focuses on the good, kind people along the underground r
May 22, 2013 Kaycee rated it liked it
Under the Quilt of Night is a story about a young boy who with a group of fellow slaves is running to freedom. It goes through the journey that the boy takes, hiding in the woods, crossing a river, and eventually getting help from the Underground Railroad. The illustrations in the book are pretty good, they are done realistically and use colors effectively. The night scenes in the book are dark and that helps to get across the secrecy and the fear that the runaway slaves must have felt, but then ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Jelisa rated it it was amazing
This novel is a very descriptive story that is a combination of both historical fiction and folklore. This story is based on the many oral stories about the Underground Railroad. In this book a little girl describes her escape from her slave-master to freedom in Canada. This book is divided into sections that begin with descriptive verbs such as running, hiding, watching, and waiting which all describe their actions during such a fearful journey. In this book the quilt serves as a very important ...more
Dec 30, 2013 Lavonnia rated it really liked it
Under the Quilt of Night is a book of poetry. This book as won an RA/CBC Children's Choices award. This book is intended for children, ages 5 through 10 and grades kindergarten through 5th grade. This would be both in the (P)Primary, ages 5 through 8 years old and the (I) Intermediate age group range.

This book of poetry that tells of how a young slave girl is trying to lead her family to freedom in the dark of night with nothing to guide her, but the stars in the sky. The sky to her is like a b
Nov 28, 2015 Rbettermann added it
Shelves: eled-414
This is a fictional text that nonetheless brings truth to the dedication of those friends who helped hide others while they waited to find freedom on the Underground Railroad. Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson elicits the emotion and suspense that tells a story that makes a heart race and leaves breathless. I would use this picture book for grades 3 and beyond. This text is illustrated by James E. Ransome can be used as an accompaniment for a mentor text used for lessons.
Feb 02, 2014 Madeline rated it it was amazing
Under the quilt of night is a great story about escaping slavery. It shows how scared they feel and and how happy they are when they're free . It tells how it was a big struggle for them to travel . It shows that they have to be afraid if someone will respect them and treat them fairly . It really comes across when you read it . It really shows how brave these people were and what they sacrificed . It's a fantastic story that you can really think about.
I give this book an 11/10
Jun 03, 2014 QNPoohBear rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story in verse about the Underground Railroad. The narrator is a girl running from the plantation with a group of other slaves. The story is told in first person present and captures the experience of the Underground Railroad in few words. It's easy enough for a child to understand the basic story. The illustrations are incredibly beautiful and rich. They're full of details that enhance the story.
Maggie Burgess
Feb 02, 2016 Maggie Burgess rated it really liked it
Great story with beautiful painted illustrations. Kind of a simple, typical example of slaves traveling the Underground Railroad. Makes you feel the fear of getting caught, but isn't too scary for children. I like the author's note in the back that explains that there's history mixed in with folklore. Definitely one I would love in my classroom library.
Oct 17, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschooling
Beautiful poem-like book telling of a fictional girl's escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad. Gorgeous illustrations, lyrical writing, and a captivating story that reflects the truth of the hard journey so many went through. Good choice to include in a slavery/Civil War history unit study for homeschool students.
Edward Creter
This story follows a black slave family during the Civil War escaping hru the Underground Railroad and hiding under a quilt to avoid racist whites who want them dead. Based on a true story that rings true today and is a triumphant adventure for all ages.
Brittany Gormong
Apr 02, 2014 Brittany Gormong rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversity, historical
I think this book uniquely captures the thoughts and emotions of runaway slaves using poetry. A follow up activity could include the students writing a journal entry with the perspective of a slave.

Author: Doborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: James E. Ransome
Kay Carman
Feb 23, 2016 Kay Carman rated it really liked it
A young girl flees from the farm where she has been worked as a slave and uses the Underground Railroad to escape to freedom in the north.
Tita Kontodiakos
Nov 20, 2012 Tita Kontodiakos rated it really liked it
- Grade/Interest Level: 2
- Reading Level: 3
- Genre: Poetry, Historical Fiction
- Main characters: Slave girl and family
- Setting: Constantly changes- Underground Railroad and Canada
- POV: Slave girl
Summary: This is a fictional story derived from many poems about a slave girl who is leading her family on their run to freedom. The story goes through their journey on the Underground Railroad and ends when they finally find freedom in Canada.
Theme: I would incorporate this novel in my classroom wh
Jan 22, 2014 Anthony rated it really liked it
Beautiful and inspiring. The poetry and images (classic James Ransome) compliment each other perfectly.
Award-winning duo Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome combine their talents once more for this sequel to the best-selling Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. Traveling late one night, a runaway slave girl spies a quilt hanging outside a house. The quilt's center is a striking deep blue -- a sign that the people inside are willing to help her escape. Can she bravely navaigate the complex world of the Underground Railroad and lead her family to freedom?
Jan 24, 2010 Sandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: african
This fictional book is about a slave family escaping their master by using the underground railroad. The story is written from a young girl's perspective; she was old enough to know what they were doing and the dangers of it. The quilt mentioned is not only symbolic, as in "under the cover of the night", but also a quilt was sometimes a sign of safes houses on the underground railroad. I liked this very short story.
Apr 16, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
This is a great story about the Underground Railroad. It takes the reader on the journey with the escaped slaves as they make their way to freedom in Canada. The text is simple and the illustrations are incredible. Give it a read.
Jun 15, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it
Read with Mrs. Johnson's class and proceeded to make our own class quilt. Great to use for an African American history or Slavery unit. I really enjoyed how this book was broken up into "segments". The illustrations did a wonderful job of depicting what the text was trying to convey. Great read-a-loud for younger students. I would love to use with upper grades to disect the text.
Dec 10, 2012 Krista rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-310
I think this book does a great job of portraying a way for students to understand what happened during the slavery time period. It displays this with appropriate words and images for a difficult topic I think. The illustrations are beautiful and I think children would enjoy following the story through the text and images.
Andrea Wilkinson
Apr 08, 2013 Andrea Wilkinson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Excellent depiction of how the slave children would have felt searching in the night for a safe house to help hide them. They slept during the day in the woods and traveled at night--looking for special colors on quilts hung on fences by members of the Underground Railroad. This book is written in prose.
Apr 12, 2013 Vicki rated it really liked it
A great book about the Underground Railroad and those who used it to escape slavery in the south. And about those who helped them. Unfortunately this book has low circulation statistics. With the excellent illustrations I may hang on to this one and try to use it in a book display for the Common Core.
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I write picture books, nonfiction, and middle grade fiction. I love history and visiting schools to talk to young readers.

TITANIC: VOICES FROM THE DISASTER was named a 2013 Sibert Honor Book and a 2013 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist. My most recent nonfiction title, COURAGE & DEFIANCE, Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in WWII Denmark,was named an Orbis Pictus Recommended Bo
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