The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom


In 1994 African-American quilter Ozella McDaniel Williams gave a story to Jacqueline Tobin.  It was a story that had been passed won through her family from "grandmother to mother to daughter."  This is the story of how secret codes sewn into quilts inspired and empowered slaves to escape slavery through the Underground Railroad.

Ten year old Hannah was a slave on a plantation in Georgia.  Her mother showed her how to piece together a quilt that would hold a secret code.  When you knew what the code meant you could use it to escape and find your way to freedom.

Hannah's sister Mary was sold away from the family.   Hannah's mother passed away soon after leaving Hannah and her Papa.  One spring day Papa told Hannah to hang out Mama's Monkey Wrench quilt.  When others saw the quilt they would know the two were leaving.  Over the spring, summer and all Hannah and her Papa risked everything to follow the code oft he quilt, always in danger, looking to escape to Canada where they could one day be free.

32 pages        978-0763635190      Ages   5-8

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


""An exciting story about a girl and her father who escape slavery. . . . Works well as a story and also as a lesson in African-American history." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Now that Hannah’s papa has decided to make the run for freedom, her patchwork quilt is not just a precious memento of Mama — it’s a series of hidden clues that will guide them along the Underground Railroad to Canada. A fictionalized account of a fascinating oral history, THE PATCHWORK PATH tells the story of a two of the thousands who escaped a life of slavery and made the dangerous journey to freedom — a story of courage, determination, and hope."--from the publisher


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