This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration (Hardcover)
The story of one family's journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family's history. But for three generations, that rope is passed down, used for everything from jump rope games to tying suitcases onto a car for the big move north to New York City, and even for a family reunion where that first little girl is now a grandmother.
Newbery Honor-winning author Jacqueline Woodson and Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator James Ransome use the rope to frame a thoughtful and moving story as readers follow the little girl's journey. During the time of the Great Migration, millions of African American families relocated from the South, seeking better opportunities. With grace and poignancy, Woodson's lilting storytelling and Ransome's masterful oil paintings of country and city life tell a rich story of a family adapting to change as they hold on to the past and embrace the future.
About the Author
Jacqueline Woodson was awarded Newbery honors for her books Feathers and Show Way and was a National Book Award finalist for her books Hush and Locomotion; the latter also received a Coretta Scott King Honor, as did her books I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This and From the Notebooks Of Melanin Sun. Miracle's Boys won the Coretta Scott King Award.
James Ransome's work has appeared in nearly fifty books for children, including Uncle Jed's Barbershop, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and This Is the Dream. His highly acclaimed illustrations for Let My People Go: Bible Stories Told by a Freeman of Color won the NAACP Image Award. He teaches illustration at Syracuse University and lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with his family.
“Woodson’s (Each Kindness) gentle, unpretentious writing and Ransome’s eloquent artwork breathe life into this story of a close-knit African-American family and their pursuit of a better life. . . . The chronicle of a homely object in an age of disposables and the sense of place Woodson and Ransome evoke make this an especially strong and vibrant fictive memoir.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Expressive oil paintings illustrate the clean, well-cadenced text in scenes that include well-researched period details. . . . There’s no doubt of the warmth and strength of the family ties that bind these individuals together.”
“The rope becomes a symbol of family tradition and continuity against a backdrop of historical and social change. Woodson’s understated but eloquent text gives specific details of one family’s experience, while Ransome’s rich oil paintings provide historical context.”
-The Horn Book
“A warm family saga of a household united by love, pride and an uncommon heirloom. The repetition of the title in a nursery-rhyme style will resonate with young listeners. Ransome’s vivid, full-bleed, double-page–spread oil paintings create an upbeat, welcoming vista of rural South Carolina and urban Brooklyn. . . . A quiet affirmation of a strong and close-knit family that, along with so many other African-Americans, found a better life as part of the Great Migration.”
“Spare, eloquent. . . . A beautifully told family tale about a loving, close-knit African-American family over several decades. . . . The language is deliberate and lyrical. . . . Landscapes indicative both of the changing geography and the passing of time . . . remarkable, with light falling on faces at the perfect angle and facial features carrying abundant emotion. Young listeners . . . [will] be drawn to this warm and hope-filled tale.”
-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“A poignant, realistic, generational story. Woodson masterfully weaves a tale of an African American family’s move from the rural south to New York City. . . . Ransome’s beautifully rich oil paintings add depth and interest. . . . The perfect picture book to include in a study of The Great Migration. . . . An excellent tale to include in a study of family histories. It is a picture book to savor as a read-aloud.”
-Library Media Connection