Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Leaving Gee's Bend is a Middle Grade debut from the fabulous Irene Latham. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Irene at the Alabama Book Festival and to be honest, it was one of the most memorable events of 2010. I originally purchased the book in anticipation of the festival and getting it signed, but after hearing Irene speak about what inspired her to write this book, I knew it was going to be a gem in my collection.
Leaving Gee's Bend is a story about fear, heart, love, family, and courage. Ludelphia Bennett is a young girl who lives in the small Alabama town of Gee's Bend in the 1930s. Times are rough and when her mama falls ill, Ludelphia resolves to find the doctor in the neighboring town and bring her the medicine that will help her mom live. In order to do this, Ludelphia must find the strength to do things she's never done, including leaving her town for the first time. Through all this, Ludelphia collects pieces of fabric from her journey to create a quilt that will tell her story.
It's a relatively quiet book but it's powerful. The writing is beautiful and brilliant and it tells a beautiful story based on a real town and its quilters. When the time comes and I have children, this will be one of the books that I look forward to sharing with them. Irene is truly inspiring, not just through the pages of this book, but in real life.
Thank you Irene for such a beautiful book.