Cover image for Under the quilt of night
Under the quilt of night
Hopkinson, Deborah.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A young girl flees from the farm where she has been worked as a slave and uses the Underground Railroad to escape to freedom in the north.
General Note:
"An Anne Schwartz book."
Reading Level:
580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.0 0.5 55924.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.4 2 Quiz: 33466 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Black History
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



When night falls, and all is quiet, a slave girl starts to run. She follows the moon into the woods, leading her loved ones away from their master. There's only one place where he might not find them, and it's under the quilt of night.
Guided by the stars, they head north in the direction of freedom. At last, the girl sees a quilt -- the quilt with a center square made from deep blue fabric -- and knows it's a signal from friends on the Underground Railroad, welcoming her into their home. And so she steps forward...
Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome team up again, in this stunning companion to Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. Ransome's rich, powerful illustrations elicit all the emotion and suspense of Hopkinson's words, in a story that's sure to make your heart race and leave you breathless.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-7. Writing in the anxious voice of a young slave girl escaping from a harsh master, Hopkinson transports children back to a time gone by. The young girl tells of a dramatic, treacherous flight, "under the quilt of night," through a mosquito-ridden wood and across deep river waters, and of finding a glimmer of hope, a sign from the Underground Railroad, shining against the dark backdrop of the night sky. It's a quilt she sees, hanging across the fence of a simple farmhouse. The quilt delivers a message: slaves have reached the path to freedom. Protected by her trust in the quilt, the girl approaches the farmhouse, taking her first steps toward a new life. The powerful oil paintings, in rich dark colors, add depth to the fabric of this heartfelt, lyrically presented slice of African American history. --Cynthia Turnquest

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Dramatic oil paintings and compelling verse-like prose combine to portray the harsh yet hopeful experience of travel along the Underground Railroad," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 5-10. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-In this companion to Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt (Knopf, 1993), a nameless young slave narrates the story of her escape with a small band of slaves. When they come to the edge of a town, she sees a woman leave a quilt with blue center squares out to air, takes it as a sign that the house hides runaways, and leads the group inside. There they receive dry clothing, food, and shelter for the night. The next day they leave hidden in a wagon, face a terrifying moment when would-be captors intercept them, and finally take the road to Canada and freedom. Ransome's dark oil paintings are a visual metaphor for the quilt of darkness that hides the runaways and are in sharp contrast to the brilliant, golden-hued scene depicting the girl's celebration of her freedom, arms outstretched, head raised to the sky where flying birds symbolize the liberty she is about to experience. The close-up scene of the slaves' pursuers astride galloping horses, led by dogs with teeth bared, is appropriately scary. The narrative is told in a series of poems, printed in negative type on the dark ground, and the language is lovely. In an author's note, Hopkinson acknowledges that she mixes fact with folklore, for some historians believe there is no proof there were actually quilts with hidden meanings to mark safe houses. Yet this story is powerfully told and provides a fine entre into this period of history.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.