The Quilt

By . 2 CDs. 1:45 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2013. ISBN 978-1-4558-0913-4. $39.97.
Gr 6 Up—Referring to himself only as "the boy," Paulsen presents another semi-autobiographical reminiscence (Wendy Lamb Bks., 2004) about his beloved grandmother who raised him during the difficult years of World War II. With his mother working in a munitions factory in Chicago (and entertaining many men in their apartment), the six-year-old is sent to live with his grandmother in Minnesota. While there, they move in with Kristina, a pregnant relative, to help on her farm while her husband is in the service. When Kristina goes into labor, many local women gather at the home to assist. As they wait, they bring out the quilt of the title and tell stories about the people that each quilt square represents. This book is a celebration of the strength of all these women and his grandmother in particular. While there are several poignant moments (such as the day Kristina learns that her husband has been killed in the war), it may be difficult for students to easily connect with this slow-moving, adult-sounding story in which the anonymous nature of the protagonist keeps listeners at arm's length. Susan Ericksen provides excellent narration, capturing the deliberate nature of the story without becoming sluggish herself. Her voice for the grandmother is unique from the narration of the boy. The reading may entice those who would not otherwise be attracted to this slow-paced title.—Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UT

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