Show Way

A must-have! True Black history family story tracing generations through quilt-making.



Reaching into her own family history Woodson presents the stirring story of generations of African-American women who inspired each other with their strength family traditions and determination to be free.

Soonie’s great-grandma was just seven years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her ma and pa and with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She pieced together bright patches with names like North Star and Crossroads patches with secret meanings made into quilts called Show Ways — maps for slaves to follow to freedom.
When she grew up and had a little girl she passed on this knowledge. And generations later Soonie — who was born free — taught her own daughter how to sew beautiful quilts to be sold at market and how to read.
From slavery to freedom through segregation freedom marches and the fight for literacy the tradition they called Show Way has been passed down by the women in Jacqueline Woodson’s family as a way to remember the past and celebrate the possibilities of the future.
Beautifully rendered in Hudson Talbott’s luminous art this moving lyrical account pays tribute to women whose strength and knowledge illuminate their daughters’ lives. (publisher)


“Show Way is a sophisticated book that introduces readers to the passage of time family traditions and the significance of quilts and their patterns in African American history. The gorgeous multimedia art includes chalk watercolors and muslin. An outstanding tribute perfectly executed in terms of text design and illustration.” -School Library Journal starred review

Full Color
Reading Level – 3.8
Interest Level – Grades 3-5
40 pages


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