The Quilt

Product Description
1944. Wartime.

A six-year-old boy goes to spend the summer with his grandmother Alida in a small town near the Canadian border. With the men all gone off to fight, the women are left to run the farms. There’s plenty for the boy to do—trying to help with the chores, getting to know the dog, and the horses, cows, pigs, and chickens.

But when his cousin Kristina goes into labor, he can’t do a thing. Instead, the house fills with women come to help… More >>


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5 Responses to “The Quilt”

  1. Helen Newton says:

    Once again, Gary Paulsen, has shared a window into his heart and soul with this beautifully written book. Mr. Paulsen draws the reader into the child’s memories of life, death, and the bond of family.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. “My grandmother shines so in my life, made things so wonderful for me when I was a small boy and, later, when I became a man, that I simply had to write more about her.”

    As Gary Paulsen’s sweet story of remembrance opens, he is six years old, World War II has taken over his parents’ lives (his father is a soldier, his mother is working in a munitions factory in Chicago) and he has been sent to live with his grandmother in Minnesota. The pace of the life there has a quiet peace that brings happiness to him. Despite missing his mother, he soon settles into the quiet but busy life that the small community offers. His grandmother, Alida, is really what is most important to him, and it is she who counsels, loves and is the female force in his young life.

    During his stay with her, they go to his cousin Kristina’s home, as she is ready to give birth. She and the other women who gather to help in this event weave a magic spell as he listens to their voices and watches as they work together. After the baby is born and the lovely quilt is brought out, he is aware of something most special happening. It is then that he hears all the family stories of the quilt, and he observes:

    “The room grew quiet, breathlessly silent, so the boy could hear Kristina breathing as she slept upstairs, and he looked at the women’s hands holding the edges of the quilt and none of them gripped hard but seemed instead to almost caress the cloth and he knew that he was seeing a sweet thing, a dear thing, like when his mother’s face was there looking down on him as he awakened from a nap, or when his grandmother looked at him when she held him.”

    This is not a book with great adventure, but is rather reflective and gentle in tone. Sometimes “the boy” seems more mature in his observations than most six-year-olds. Because of his life and the times, however, it all seems more plausible.

    While this is considered a companion to THE COOKCAMP and ALIDA’S SONG, it is not necessary to read them to enjoy and understand the characters or story in THE QUILT. While younger readers (ages 8-12) can read this book with ease, the themes will probably find more appeal for teens and most definitely for adults. Paulsen has written a wonderful, moving little book about growing up.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. I love just about anything written by Gary Paulsen. This one didn’t let me down. This is the story of Gary’s grandmother who was such an influence in his life. When he was six years old he lived with his grandmother while his father was away at war and his mother worked in a munitions factory in Chicago. While staying with his grandmother they get word they must go to his cousin Kristina’s house. She is due to have a baby any day and her husband is off fighting in the war. Soon more women arrive to help out. It is during the labor process that the women bring out the quilt and the boy learns all the stories that the quilt holds. Through the patches he learns about love, heartache and the meaning of strength. The was a great book. I probably connected to it because I quilt. I don’t know of too many young people who would read this today and enjoy it the way I did unless they loved history.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Karen Spears says:

    Gary Paulson has a winner with his book The Quilt. As with The Cookcamp and Alida’s Song he tells the story of one of his summers with his grandmother Alida.

    It is the middle of the Second World War and all the men are off fighting. He and his grandmother end up on a farm with Kristina, a family member our little six-year-old has never met before. While on the farm he is introduced to several family members he has never heard of. Each story is told in The Quilt that is brought to the farm.

    This book would be great for teaching students what life was like during a time of war and hardship. It would also be an excellent resource for teaching students the art of quilting or how to make a story quilt.

    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really didn’t care for this book a whole lot. I would rate this book a 6. The part in the book I didn’t like the most was when the boy and his grandma went to Kristina’s farm. The part I liked the most was when they got a ride to Kristina’s farm.When Elmer gave them a ride, the boy had to sit on poop. It was funny. I chose this book because it looked interesting. Well, if you decide to read this book, I hope you like it. Thanks for reading my review!!!!

    Rating: 3 / 5

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