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I Lay My Stitches Down by @cynthia_grady is a Middle-Grade Event pick #mglit #middlegrade #giveaway


Author: Cynthia Grady

Genre: MG poetry

Book Blurb:

This rich and intricate collection chronicles the various experiences of American slaves. Drawn together through imagery drawn from quilting, music, religion and folklore, each poem is spoken from a different perspective: a house slave, a mother losing her daughter to the auction block, a blacksmith, a slave fleeing on the Underground Railroad.

Each poem is supplemented by a historical note.



Each morning after walking lIttle Miss

to school, we steal away beneath the oak

to piece together everything we hear.

The teacher catch us making letters in

the dirt with sticks one day. Her eyes go wide

and icy blue. She walk away. We fear’d

our backs would get the rawhide switch. Instead,

she twitch the curtain at the window, teach

her lessons loud and clear – her voice, a prayer

with wings. It give us hope; it sing us home.

In many states, slaves were forbidden to read and write. If a person were caught teaching a slave, both teacher and slave would be severely punished.

To “steal away” was a common expression that meant to sneak off, as if to hide. “Steal Away” is also the name of a spiritual that expresses the hope of escaping to a life of salvation.

Buy Links (including Goodreads):

What makes your featured book a must-read?

I LAY MY STITCHES DOWN: POEMS OF AMERICAN SLAVERY offers something for every kind of reader from those interested in studying history, to readers of art, music, and theater.

“Grady’s compact poems about the lives of slaves cover and emotional range from gossamer (‘Like the wren’s/ song, she hits the grace note just so”) to leaden (“drag my heart clean/out of my chest”).- Publisher’s Weekly.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $20 Amazon US or Amazon Canada gift card

Open Internationally. You must have an active Amazon US or CA account to win.

Runs September 6 – September 14, 2022.

Winner will be drawn on September 15, 2022.

Author Biography:

Cynthia Grady is the author of three critically acclaimed and award-winning books for young people. She’s a former librarian and has taught nearly every grade from kindergarten through graduate school, including classes in poetry and children’s literature for adults.. She holds graduate degrees in liberal studies (Western Classics), children’s literature, and library and information studies. She lives in New Mexico. Visit her website at

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @cynthia_grady

2 коментарі

15 вер. 2022 р.

Sounds great! I am deff gonna check out her other books too!


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08 вер. 2022 р.

Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your book in our Middle Grade and Young Adult Bookish Event!

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