Fiona's Lace

Illustrated by Patricia Polacco
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About The Book

An Irish family stays together with the help of Fiona’s talent for making one-of-a-kind lace in this heartwarming immigration story from the New York Times bestselling creator of The Keeping Quilt.

Many years ago, times were hard in all of Ireland, so when passage to America becomes available, Fiona and her family travel to Chicago. They find work in domestic service to pay back their passage, and at night Fiona turns tangles of thread into a fine, glorious lace. Then when the family is separated, it is the lace that Fiona’s parents follow to find her and her sister and bring the family back together. And it is the lace that will always provide Fiona with memories of Ireland and of her mother’s words: “In your heart your true home resides, and it will always be with you as long as you remember those you love.”

This generational story from the family of Patricia Polacco’s Irish father brims with the same warmth and heart as the classic The Keeping Quilt and The Blessing Cup, which Kirkus Reviews called “deeply affecting” in a starred review, and embraces the comfort of family commitment and togetherness that Patricia Polacco’s books are known for.

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Patricia Polacco belongs to a family of storytellers, poets, farmers, teachers, and artists. They came from many parts of the world, but mainly Russia. She grew up to be an illustrator, a designer, and creator of many beloved children’s books, including The Keeping QuiltThe Blessing CupFiona’s LaceThe Trees of the Dancing GoatsBabushka’s Doll, and My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother. She lives in Union City, Michigan. Visit her at PatriciaPolacco.com and follow her on Facebook.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (August 2014)
  • Length: 48 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442487246
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8
  • Lexile ® AD740L

Raves and Reviews

"Polacco adds to her library of autobiographical stories with this tale about her Irish forebear Fiona. Polacco’s valuable portrait of hardship in Ireland and her descriptions of the unjust working conditions that émigrés encountered in the U.S.  supplies a gritty picture of the immigrant experience. " Publishers Weekly

– Publishers Weekly, June 16, 2014

"Polacco’s large and multiethnic family yields up another fine story, this one in greens and grays, lace and fire." Kirkus Reviews

– Kirkus Reviews, July 2014

"Once again, Polacco has drawn on a rich family history to present this story of courage, perseverance, and love. Illustrated with pencil and acetone markers in Polacco’s recognizable style, this is a story with many themes and lessons—the love of family, the immigrant experience, and family history and stories passing from generation to generation, to name a few. It’s sure to find an appreciative audience." School Library Journal

– School Library Journal, September 2014

"The most compelling feature of this well-crafted immigrants’ story is how it might inspire adults to share

their own family stories with their kids." Booklist

– Booklist, September 1, 2014

Awards and Honors

  • ILA Teachers' Choices
  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • Kansas State Reading Circle List Intermediate Title
  • Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award Master List
  • Jefferson Cup Overfloweth Title
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association's Reading List

Resources and Downloads

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More books from this author: Patricia Polacco