Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration” as Want to Read:
This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,769 ratings  ·  391 reviews
The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family’s history. But for three generations, that rope is passed down, used for everything from jump rope games to tying suitcases onto a car for the big move north to New Y ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 29th 2013 by Nancy Paulsen Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about This Is the Rope, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tatiana A book with such depth and history as this one would best be shared with children in 2nd-4th grade. Children younger than that might like the illustra…moreA book with such depth and history as this one would best be shared with children in 2nd-4th grade. Children younger than that might like the illustrations, but they won't understand the message. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,769 ratings  ·  391 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration
Mariah Roze
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a really cute, simple story about generations and times changing. It talked about how her ancestors came to America and made a life for the rest of the generations. And it is told through a rope and all the different purposes of the rope through the years. This was a very creative book.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved how the author used a rope to share the story of one family and how they changed over the year.
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Based on Woodson’s own family, this is the story of how one piece of rope serves as a symbol for the changes that came during the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural south to northern cities. One little girl tells the story of how her grandparents moved to New York City, using the rope to tie their things to the top of the car. The rope was used to tie up the drying flowers from their window boxes that reminded them of home. It was used by the little girl’s mother to tug her toys ...more
Beautiful story. My family is spread between S. Carolina and New York and the great migration definitely played a role. I was so thrilled to see a picture book that was geared towards such an important moment in history.
Linda Lipko
Using a simple, strong item of rope, the author creates a story of hope, of love and reflection.
The incredible images of Ransome and the poetically written words of Woodson reflect a heritage rich in beauty and strong in love.

Known as the great migration, during the time span of 1900-1970, approximately six million African Americans left the southern parts of America, traveling to the north in the hope of better, more just life with more opportunity.

The rope is used to affix to a tree to enable
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is about a rope and how it goes from generation to generation. I really liked how it does that. This is a FICTION book. Only one or two things where NONFICTION. The author is Jacqueline Woodson. Its about her AND the rope.
Alex  Baugh
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: randomly-reading
This story follows a piece of rope's journey with a family as they move from South Carolina to New York City during the Great Migration of many African American families in the 20th century and how a piece of rope becomes the red thread running through a family and binding them together for three generations.

This is the Rope is narrated by an unknown little girl (perhaps Woodson as a child), whose grandmother finds a length of rope under a tree in South Carolina and at first, uses it as a jump
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Summary: A jump rope becomes a representation of an African-American's family journey through time. For three generations the rope was used for jump roping, hanging clothes, and securing luggage to the roof of a car.

Curriculum Connection: This is a great book for storytelling. After reading, children can discuss the characters, setting, pictures and events. They can retell the story in their own words. The storyline is a great way to help them understand structure, sequence and the history of th
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a GoodRead! Cute tale.
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jacqueline Woodson took an ordinary piece of rope and transformed it into a symbol for change. This rope was found underneath a tree in South Carolina, by the narrator’s grandmother. This rope represented change and hope for this family of African Americans and over six million others during the Great Migration of the 1900’s. During the Great Migration, African Americans were moving north to find a better life for their families. The rope was used to tie luggage to the roof of a car during a mov ...more
Jenna Langemeier
1. The connection I made this this story is a text-to-self connection. In this story, an old rope becomes a symbol of family history, which is passed down through three generations. My connection with this is that I have always been very close with my family and I have received some family treasures passed down from my ancestors. Those treasures may not mean anything to anyone else who would see them, just like the rope in the story, but to me, they are truly special.

2. This story fits the desc
Sarah Wheeland
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration

Text to Self: I related to this story because just like the rope in it, I have a vase that was my grandmother’s and then my mother’s and is now mine. It represents my family’s history and my grandmother’s life as a military wife who lived all over the world. She gave it to me when I got engaged to my fiancée who is in the Air Force like my grandfather was. The rope in the story was passed down and held special sentimental value in much the same w
Jenny Christen
1. Text to text: This book reminds me of The Memory String because it describes treasured items that are passed down in Laura's family and describes her family passed down from generation to generation. In this book, a little girl discusses a rope that her grandmother had found when she was little, then passed down to her mother, and then her as she grew older. It describes this family's air loom that is important to their family's culture.

2. This text is culturally specific because it describes
Sometimes the most insignificant items can turn out to have great importance as they follow us along our life journeys. This picture book from gifted storyteller Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of a rope that the narrator's grandmother used to skip when she was a girl in South Carolina. The rope comes in handy when her grown-up grandmother and her grandfather join others who are migrating north for better opportunities. As the family grows and changes, with some members leaving and others ret ...more
Sara  Hinchliff
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration is another beautiful historical fiction tale of African American heroism by Jacqueline Woodson. In this multi generational fictional memoir a simple length of rope links grandmother, mother and daughter to their roots and helps them find the strength to face new futures. Woodson has an amazing ability to give a complicated story a simplicity that K-3 children will understand and appreciate without loosing the poignancy such a story deserves.

Amber Murphy
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
1.)Text to text: As I was reading this, I was reminded of several books by Patricia Palaco. It especially reminded me of the Keeping Quilt. The jump rope passed through generations and had different “jobs” in the family, just like the quilt (or parts of the quilt) did in Palaco’s book.

2.) Write six discussion questions using all six stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy
Remembering: List two ways the jumprope was used in the book.
Understanding: What is meant by back home, using throughout the book?
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Woodson gives us a succinct history of one family's migration from the South to the North and their subsequent life in the North through several generations. The rope links the histories and events together as it lends itself to new uses (thus creating new memories). Illustrations are well done and showcase a number of period references (pop culture art on the walls from the 60s, cars changing, clothing changing, etc.).

All in all, a solid historical fiction picture book. The rhythm of the text
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ransome’s rich oil paintings of country and city life combine with Woodson’s powerful storytelling to portray the story of a family as it grows and moves from North Carolina to Brooklyn. A rope, one that grandmother skips with, father ties luggage to the car roof with, mother hangs clothes on the line with, etc. is the common thread which ties the generations together, linking histories and events and creating new memories along the way. The family adapts to change as they hold on to the past an ...more
Kahlil Simpson
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
What is pleasant about Jacquline Woodson's historical fiction, is that she strays away from well-tred territory of slavery or civil rights, and veers from typical themes of resistance.

In this book, the narrative follows a piece of rope. The rope, as it turns out, has been handed dow for several generations in this family, and the story follows the rope as it was used in different contexts since the family's movement north during the Great Migration.

Woodson is, as always, able to say a lot with
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With an author like Jacqueline Woodson, I had very high expectations for this book.
Luckily, I was not disappointed.

The "Story From the Great Migration" is preceded by an author's note and dedication that places the fictional text in its historical context, and gives it personal relevance. The illustrations by James Ransome are heartwarming, conveying everyday life through the family's generations. An honest look at individuals who stand for so many others. The title's rope is used to connect a f
Cara Byrne
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book that shows a family's transition from the warmth of South Carolina to a big, bustling city in the North. By following a single piece of rope that is used for both practical and play purposes by different family members and seems to tie this family together, Woodson is able to depict generations of a single family through their everyday activities. Like _Brown Girl Dreaming_, this works celebrates a single girl through focusing on her family history in the big city. A sweet, brie ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
More than the story, the clever refrain about a rope tying aspects of the girl's life together, or the illustrations, this book strikes because it makes real and recounts a period of history that was essentially hidden from me until very recently. It's impressive to think that there are kids who grow up aware that it matters as much that a large portion of the US population moved from one area to another to seek a better life --as much as kids grow up learning about the pilgrims, the trail of te ...more
♥♥♥ this book. Jacqueline Woodson dedicates this book "to the more than 6 million African Americans who left unjust conditions of the South for a better life in the North from the early 1900s until the 1970s."

It is a historical fiction piece that tells us how a little girl's jump rope travelled through generations of her family.

As parents, we owe it to ourselves to introduce this book to our children and grandchildren.
The story of a family who travels North during the Great Migration. The stories of the 3 generations of family are woven together through the many uses for a rope. From jumping rope, to tying down belongings, to hanging up laundry the sturdy rope remains an essential household item.

An author's note reveals the inspiration for this tale and gives the story a deeper meaning and sense of identity for the characters. Oil illustrations. This book is a must read and among Woodson's best.
Age: Kindergarten-3rd grade
Family: Inter-generational

Follow the life of a simple piece of rope along three generations of an African American family. I loved trying to find the rope in each gorgeous artwork. The text is perfect for younger kids but the story of the Great Migration can be elaborated on in older classrooms.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book
The rope represents hope in all things. The same rope is used for many uses by several generations of one family. The great migration from the segregated south to the opportunities of the north saved this African American family. The illustrations are awe-inspiring. Excellent for all families to learn about this time in history.
A fabulous story that illustrates the migration of one African American family, who left the south and moved to the north. Scenes are "tied" together with this one [very sentimental] piece of rope. A wonderful story. ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Jacqueline Woodson's incisive, poignant poetry always takes my breath away. I loved this seemingly simple picture book about a multi-generational family's journey from the unjust conditions of the South to the hope of a better life in the North, entwined by a little girl's jump rope. Lovely. ...more
Ishta Mercurio
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book works on so many levels: the story flows, the page turns answer and interact with one another beautifully, and the rope as a metaphor is perfection. Mark this one down as a must-read for young and old alike.
Kris Dersch
Wonderful book! The Great Migration is not a topic that has been well-covered for kids and this simple story with a little family insight is both a great story and a great starting point for talking about it. Accessible, well-drawn, lovely.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Crow Call
  • The King of Kindergarten
  • When Jessie Came Across the Sea
  • Grandfather's Journey
  • Harlem
  • When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry
  • There's a Nightmare in My Closet
  • Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
  • black is brown is tan
  • Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis
  • Ox-Cart Man
  • The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Teasing
  • All Because You Matter
  • Whistle for Willie
  • Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad
  • Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
  • Steamboat School
See similar books…
I used to say I’d be a teacher or a lawyer or a hairdresser when I grew up but even as I said these things, I knew what made me happiest was writing.

I wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when my mother found out.) I wrote on paper bags and my shoes and denim binders. I chalked stories a

Related Articles

The Great Migration was the movement of six million African Americans out of the South to urban areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and West between...
45 likes · 4 comments