Cover image for A name on the quilt : a story of remembrance
A name on the quilt : a story of remembrance
Atkins, Jeannine, 1953-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 cm
A family reminisces while gathered together to make a panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt in memory of a beloved uncle.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 27969.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Several months have passed since Uncle Ron died from AIDS, and Lauren's family and Ron's friends are making a quilt panel in his memory. At the end of the day, Lauren wraps herself in the quilt panel the way Uncle Ron used to wrap her in his arms. She will always remember her Uncle Ron.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 6^-9. Family and friends gather at Lauren's house to make a quilt to remember Uncle Ron. Lauren remembers his and Michael's apartment, where her drawings covered their refrigerator and they always served her juice "in glasses that could break." She is irritated by her younger brother Bobby's incessant questions, though when he brings out a pair of red socks Uncle Ron had given him, she realizes he wants to add those to the quilt, too. The family remembers what Ron loved and enjoyed--dancing, ice-skating, gardening--and Lauren notices that Grandpa, who didn't come to Uncle Ron's memorial service, wouldn't come today, either. Hills' illustrations are quiet and hieratic: Lauren's dog, the fabric letters, and glimpses of interior spaces echo the reassuring geometry of home. The understated language does not always escape an awkward preachiness, but for the most part, Lauren's grief and loss, and how she is coming to understand her sorrow, are couched in limpid tones. A gentle book that only mentions AIDS in its final note on the NAMES project, and offers an address, Web site, and photos from the AIDS memorial quilt. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Weaving themes of grief and remembrance into a story about the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, Atkins (Aani and the Tree Huggers) imagines family and friends piecing together a quilt panel to commemorate a loved one. Told from the perspective of Lauren, the picture book affords some exploration of the mourning process, but leaves some key questions unanswered. AIDS, for example, is never mentioned in the body of the story (an afterword includes a brief mention). Various passages assume a level of sophistication that may be beyond the intended audience, as in veiled references to Grandpa's absences from an earlier memorial gathering and from the quilting party ("Grandpa says he doesn't know how to sew," says Grandma). Atkins is eloquent at times ("Lauren's stitches didn't always go where she aimed them, the way a tossed ball didn't always land where she meant it to"), but her tone is so measured as to seem self-conscious. First-time illustrator Hills's muted works are mostly still lifes or frozen-seeming portraits, and even the few "action" scenes (e.g., of Lauren's brother proffering a contribution to the quilt) seem static. Uncle Ron (to whom they dedicate the quilt square) himself is seen only with his face hidden from readers, as he and Lauren ice-skate outdoors. Hills contributes a clever homespun touch‘a border of "cross-stitching" that outlines each block of text and grows longer on each spread. While a picture book introduction to the AIDS Memorial Quilt may be welcomed, on the whole, this studied offering may leave children cold. Ages 5-up. (Feb.) FYI: A portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to the NAMES Project Foundation. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Atkins offers a gentle way to discuss issues concerning AIDS, death, and homosexuality through the story of one family's efforts to make a section for the AIDS Memorial Quilt project. It is told by Lauren, a young girl whose Uncle Ron passed away a few months earlier. Her parents, younger brother, grandmother, and Ron's roommate and friends gather to work on a quilt panel. Grandpa has chosen not to come. They use scraps of clothing and fabric with colors and patterns that remind them of Uncle Ron-the color of his eyes, a plaid from his hiking shirt. As the children work, they remember the good times they shared with their uncle. Lauren thinks her brother is too young to understand, but she realizes she is wrong when he brings socks his uncle had given him to contribute to the design. Bordered with a heavy black band, Hills's mixed-media paintings, muted in color and simple in shape, artfully convey the characters' emotions. Atkins doesn't belabor any issues. She just presents a family grieving and doing something positive to remember and celebrate the life of a loved one. A small addendum talks about the project and shows photos of the actual quilts.-Judith Gloyer, Milwaukee Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.