Show Way

Show Way


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Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Winner of a Newbery Honor!

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399237492
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/08/2005
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 253,788
Product dimensions: 9.31(w) x 11.81(h) x 0.38(d)
Lexile: AD720L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Jacqueline Woodson ( is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and she received the 2018 Children's Literature Legacy Award. She is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir BROWN GIRL DREAMING, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Her recent adult book, Another Brooklyn, was a National Book Award finalist. Born on February 12th in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline Woodson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books  include THE OTHER SIDE, EACH KINDNESS, Caldecott Honor Book COMING ON HOME SOON; Newbery Honor winners FEATHERS, SHOW WAY, and AFTER TUPAC AND D FOSTER, and MIRACLE'S BOYS—which received the LA Times Book Prize and the Coretta Scott King Award and was adapted into a miniseries directed by Spike Lee. Jacqueline is also the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature, the winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and was the 2013 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Hudson Talbott
"Travel is one of my greatest joys- whether its by land, sea, air - or cyberspace. Last year, for example, I found myself in Amsterdam, Holland, at the Institute of War Documentation, the place where they keep the few records that the Nazis didn't burn. I needed to go there for research on my newest book, Forging Freedom. From there I flew to Wales for a conference about King Arthur and the Holy Grail, research for my King Arthur series. It was great fun to be with a group of Arthurian scholars, in Arthur's homeland. From there I crossed the Irish Sea to Dublin, where I directed a wonderful cast of Irish actors in a taped dramatization of my book O'Sullivan Stew.

My latest journey took me to Kenya, in east Africa, to visit Dr. Jan Grootenhuis, a wildlife expert I had met in India last year. When he invited me to work on a book together with him about the wildlife of Africa how could I say no? I sent email reports back to several schools in the States when we were on safari. It was wild to be sharing my safari experiences as they were happening! In fact, I think the thing I love most about travel is sharing it with others- through a book, a recording, an email report, or a website."

Hudson Talbott was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, the youngest of four children. From the time he could pick up a pencil, he has been interested in drawing and creative expression, and he considers himself extremely fortunate to have had family and teachers who encouraged his talents.

After graduating from the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Hudson remained in Europe, first staying in Italy, and then living for two years in Amsterdam. He then worked in Hong Kong and traveled throughout southeast Asia for a year before moving to New York, where he has lived and worked since 1974. In his ten years as a freelance illustrator, his work was commissioned by such clients as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bloomingdale's, and New York Magazine. Hudson's first book for young readers, called How to Show Grown-ups the Museum, was commissioned by New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1985. Since then he has written and illustrated more than twelve books for the child in all of us. Hudson's interest in other cultures and his genuine appreciation for all types of people have contributed enormously to the development of his work as both artist and story-teller.

Hudson Talbott is the author/illustrator of more than twelve books for young readers, including We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, which was adapted into an animated film by Steven Spielberg.

Hudson also collaborated with Stephen Sondeim on a illustrated book version of the composer's musical Into The Woods. His illustration and design work have been used by The Metropolitan Museum and The Museum of Modern Art, among others. He has also developed two animated television series commissioned by Universal Studios.

Hudson frequently travels for his book projects. For his ongoing series of The Tales of King Arthur he traveled throughout England and Wales researching the subject. For Amazon Diary he went into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest by dugout canoe and stayed in the villages of the remote stone-age indigenous tribe known as the Yanomami.

For his latest book, O'Sullivan Stew, he wandered through Ireland, absorbing the culture. In Dublin he directed a splendid cast of Irish actors for an audiotape version of the book.

Hudson lives in New York City and ,on weekends, in a farmhouse near the town of Hudson, N.Y.

copyright 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"One of the most remarkable books of the year."

-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"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

Customer Reviews

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Show Way 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a Newbery Honor Book in 2006. It is appropriate for children ages 8-12. It is a historical fiction book which tells of slavery and how a quilt helps deliver some slaves to safety and freedom. It takes us through several generations to show how the quilt was significant in each period of time. I feel this book is very important for older children to read. I feel that the story and illustrations will help them to see how far our country has come. Freedom is very important and all people should be able to experience true freedom. This book was written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Hudson Talbott. Ms. Woodson has written many books such as Locomotion and Other Side. Woodson, Jacqueline. Show Way. New York: G.P. Putnam¿s Sons, 2005.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hudson Talbott's illustrations omit anything real about slavery or dignity. The book begins oddly by showing children in chains but what isn't shown is who's doing the chaining. Also, why is the principle character's mother and father so passive in her kidnapping? This book can't seriously be for 5 and up. Or even 8 and up. It clearly will lead to seperation anxiety. This is only the first two pages of this book, as it goes on, more cliches ensue, climaxing with an egotistical ending -- slavery happened to a large group of people, what about everyone else? Very disappointingly written and illustrated but I do think the right book will come to give children some sense of their history, culture, and self worth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book to a class of fourth graders and they loved it.
RayJones63 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book that follows generations of a family from slavery to the civil rights movement by way of quilts that tell a way to freedom. This story is full of literary elements and the illustrations are remarkable and engaging that also enhance the reading and meaning of the story.
chelsea6273 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written in dialect, this book was a little bit hard to read at first¿mainly because I wasn¿t expecting it. The dialect added a really great touch to the reading of the book; the reader could feel and listen to what it might have been like to be there with the heroine, Soonie. There was also a sort of poem-like feel to the language. The pictures were very illustrative, making the author¿s words even more powerful. This is the story of a family who started in slavery, lived through segregation, and ended with a first person narrator growing up to become a published writer, which surprised me at first. I think this is an informational picture storybook, and an absolutely beautiful story that I would recommend to everyone because it is such an important topic to know more about.
Edwardlynn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Show Ways", or quilts, once served as secret maps for freedom-seeking slaves. This is the story of seven generations of girls and women who were quilters and artists and freedom fighters.
JNino on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Follows a quilt through its many generations of women from the same family. A really great book to use during African American History month, talks about the underground railroad all the way up to the civil rights movement. Could be used with 4th grade or 5th grade students.
skc004 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very powerful and moving historical based story about seven generations of girls and women who were quilters and artists and freedom fighters.These quilts once served as secret maps for freedom-seeking slaves.
pjw1173 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book to use as a read-aloud before MLK Birthday or in February. Woodson tells a deeply personal story that shows how her ancestors used Show Way quilts to escape slavery, deal with segregation, and find their way in life.
bamabreezin4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this. The illustrations add so much more that young readers may miss, but may be explained, or not. The story is poignant and could relate to some kids' heritage. It highlights the importance of strength through love of family.
lnpowers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book introduced the reader to Show ways and their importance in a different manner, by personifying them with the individuals from the author's family. I really liked the illustrations which all look like quilts and they way that is used to connect the generations.This program could be used in a public library to celebrate Black History Month and show the stuggles that slaves too to gain freedom.
tiburon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book that tells the story of multiple generations of African American women. A "Show Way" is a quilt that maps out the road to frreedom.
spacecat77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mothers wanting to show thier daughters a better way.
edspicer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Students often tell me that, ¿History bores me.¿ Perhaps some of the reason for this statement is the inability to knit a connection between historical events and personal history. Jacqueline Woodson¿s Show Way weaves together both personal history and historical events seamlessly. From the quilted front cover with its ¿Show Way¿ title and shining light with stitched in images on muslin, to the quilted back cover; we journey with Woodson¿s family as if we were on an underground railroad or at a segregated school. The language of the story perfectly matches our rich oral tradition using Woodson¿s family as the fabric for warming our hearts. We are wrapped in an embrace that protects us from slave catchers, whips, and dogs to the point that the most abiding memory is one of feeling loved, ¿Loved that baby up so. Yes, she loved that baby up.¿ Teachers will use this book to discuss freedom quilts, flights to freedom, and the careful use of word and symbol to convey distinctly different meanings. Careful inspection of these pages will reveal Harriet Tubman, Langston Hughes, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, and many more, including a very realistic illustration of Woodson and her daughter Toshi. I hope this book finds a home in both elementary and middle school classrooms. This book is certain to win many awards come January 2006. Show Way is another exemplary example of broom jumping words and illustrations, which is to say that the words wed perfectly with the illustrations.
jlsherman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautiful illustrations tell the story of how the author's family used to make quilts to assist those escaping to freedom.
Omrythea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Such a wonderful book! I loved it up, so, loved this book up.
dmcdine More than 1 year ago
The fabrics of our lives are woven through the generations with rich history to be shared. Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson is a heartwarming and heart wrenching story all at once about Soonie's family and their plight across the generations in the quest for freedom. To learn of the struggles and successes individuals endured to ensure their eventual path to freedom has an inspiring stronghold across hundreds of years, one not to be forgotten. Immerse yourself in the elegant storytelling of Newberry Honor winner, Jacqueline Woodson, and be prepared to be mesmerized. The awe inspiring illustrations of Hudson Talbott will leave the reader emotionally satisfied. Personal note: I had the thrilling opportunity to listen to Jacqueline Woodson speak at the NY Winter SCBWI Conference in January where she read Show Way to the audience. Her writing is exhilarating while reading on your own, but to hear her in person is breathtaking. While I read, Show Way Ms. Woodson's voice echoed through my mind bringing chills throughout. The experience will stay with me forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, through both its original poetic lyrics and thought provoking illustrations, stirs the emotions of higher level thinkers, and is a must read for all elementary classrooms. Beautiful portrayal of the complexities of civil rights, seperation, and slavery, leaving the reader with many questions and a desire to know more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful way to pass down family stories from one generation to another.It's so important that other children understand how life was and is today and the choices we now have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nothing orginal here, just lifted ideas from other poems about slavery paged out in book form.