Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Leaving Gee's Bend by Irene Latham

After reading Don't Feed The Boy, I decided to read Irene Latham's first novel, Leaving Gee's Bend.  For those of you who don't know, Gee's Bend is a real place in west Alabama.  It is an isolated place that is best arrived at by crossing the Alabama River on a ferry. Gee's Bend is a traditionally African American community that is known for its quilts. In fact, a wonderful exhibit called The Quilts of Gee's Bend travels the world. I saw it at the Jule Collins Smith Museum in Auburn several years ago.

This is the fictional story of 10 year-old Ludelphia Bennett.  Lu has lived her entire life amoung the safety of family and friends in Gee's Bend and has never crossed the river to see the rest of the world.  That, however, is about to change.  When her mother becomes deathly ill with pnuemonia, Lu is determined to fetch Doc Nelson to save her. She sets off on a dangerous adventure to leave Gee's Bend.  Will Lu like what she sees across the river?  Will she ever return to her beloved Gee's Bend? Will her quest to save her mother's life be successful?

If you like reading stories set in your home state of Alabama and written by an Alabama author and if you like historical fiction that is full of adventure, you should read Leaving Gee's Bend.
Recommended for students 11 and up. 

Caution: A birthing scene occurs early in the novel.

By Mrs. Norton

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