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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Braid

The Braid

Helen Frost

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)


Two sisters, Jeannie and Sarah, tell their separate yet tightly interwoven stories in alternating narrative poems. Each sister – Jeannie, who leaves Scotland during the Highland Clearances with her father, mother, and the younger children, and Sarah, who hides so she can stay behind with her grandmother – carries a length of the other's hair braided with her own. The braid binds them together when they are worlds apart and reminds them of who they used to be before they were evicted from the Western Isles, where their family had lived for many generations.

The award-winning poet Helen Frost eloquently twists strand over strand of language, braiding the words at the edges of the poems to bring new poetic forms to life while intertwining the destinies of two young girls and the people who cross their paths in this unforgettable novel. An author's note describes the inventive poetic form in detail.

The Braid is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

NCTE Notable Child. Bks in Lang. A, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice A. ML, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor, NCSS-CBC NotableTrade-Soc.Stdy, American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice, Lion & Unicorn Award-Exc. NA Poet Honor, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Master List, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, School Library Best Books of the Year, NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

From The Braid
. . . The
bay was still. Moonlight on the water made a path from our
Scottish sea to –where? Where, I wonder, will we all be eating
supper in two months' time? One year? I linked arms...

Reviews from Goodreads

Helen Frost

Helen Frost is the author of several books for young people, including Hidden, Diamond Willow, Crossing Stones, and Keesha's House, selected an Honor Book for the Michael L. Printz Award. Helen Frost was born in Brookings,South Dakota, the fifth of ten children. She recalls the summer her family moved from South Dakota to Oregon, traveling in a big trailer and camping in places like the Badlands and Yellowstone. Her father told the family stories before they went to sleep, and Helen would dream about their travels, her family, and their old house. "That's how I became a writer," she says. "I didn't know it at the time, but all those things were accumulating somewhere inside me."

As a child, she loved to travel, think, swim, sing, learn, canoe, write, argue, sew, play the piano, play softball, play with dolls, daydream, read, go fishing, and climb trees. Now, when she sits down to write, her own experiences become the details of her stories. Helen has lived in South Dakota, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Scotland, Colorado, Alaska, California, and Indiana. She currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her family.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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