Ludelphia Bennett may be blind in one eye, but that doesn’t mean she can’t put in a good stitch. In fact, Ludelphia sews all the time, especially when things are going wrong. But when Mama gets deathly ill, it doesn’t seem like even quilting will help. Mama needs medicine badly – medicine that can only be found in Camden, over forty miles away. That’s when Ludelphia decides to do something drastic – leave Gee’s Bend.
Beyond the log cabins, orange dirt, and cotton fields of her small sharecropping community, Ludelphia discovers a world she could never have imagined. Fancy houses, cars, and even soda pop! But there’s also danger lurking for a young girl on her own, and Ludelphia begins to wonder if she’ll ever see Gee’s Bend or her Mama again. Despite the twists and turns, Ludelphia weathers each challenge in a way that would make her mama proud, and may even save the day not just for Mama, but her entire town.
Set in 1932 and inspired by the rich quilting history of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, LEAVING GEE’S BEND is a heart-touching tale of a young girl’s unexpected adventure.
LEAVING GEE’S BEND
G.P. Putnam’s Sons
January 7, 2010
midgrade historical fiction
240 pages, $16.99
ages 8 and up
Grandparents would enjoy sharing this story with their grandkids because it is a story of survival and family during the Great Depression that also celebrates the dying arts of quiltmaking and storytelling.
BIO: Irene Latham is a poet and novelist who writes heart-touching tales of unexpected adventure. Her debut midgrade historical novel LEAVING GEE’S BEND (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010) is set in Alabama during the Great Depression.
A resident of Birmingham, Alabama, for the past 25 years, she has published over 120 poems of various books, journals and anthologies, including a full-length collection WHAT CAME BEFORE, which was named Alabama State Poetry Society’s book of the Year and earned a 2008 Independent Publisher’s (IPPY) Award. Irene loves exploring new places and often uses “research” as an excuse to travel. Her favorite characters in books and real life are those who have the courage to go their own way. For more information, please see www.irenelatham.com.