Sunday, March 18, 2012
This absolutely beautiful book, written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by James Ransome, is just what I needed to share with my 5th graders to complement their unit on the Civil War. It also gave me a chance to discuss historical fiction, the use of dialect, and descriptive language. The story led to some great discussion about slavery and plantation hierarchy as 12-year-old Clara's story brings history to life. I like to follow this one up with the shorter story, Under the Quilt of Night, which includes a great author's note about Hopkinson's research into the history and folklore of the Underground Railroad.
For more information, be sure to check out Deborah Hopkinson's website at http://www.deborahhopkinson.com/Historical%20Fiction/clara.html She includes great links to sites with ideas for lesson plans and other activities that go with these books.