Grandmother Bryant’s Pocket

Grandmother Bryant’s Pocket

Written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Illustrated by Petra Mathers

Published by Houghton Mifflin 1996

Sarah Bryant, a young girl, is haunted by nightmares after a fire in which her beloved dog, Patches, was  killed.  Each night she would wake up in terror, and, though her parents tried many things to help her, they finally sent her to Grandmother Bryant to see if she could do anything.

Grandmother Bryant had also been plagued with fear as a small child, and her mother had sewn her a pocket that had the words “Fear Not” embroidered onto it.  Sarah began wearing the pocket and sleeping with it to make her feel better.  Soon, her strength and confidence grew.  When it was time to be tested, would Sarah pull through?

This book has many folk and historical elements, such as embroidery, external pockets, and herb usage and identification.  Grandmother Bryant used folk remedies to help heal people in her community as well.

Teachers could point out that this story takes place on a farm in Maine.  Students could locate Maine on a map, and talk about the culture, immigration history, and historical dress and practices of early America.  Covers SOL Geography requirements for younger grades.

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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