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The Hickory Chair

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The Hickory Chair by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

"I loved Gran's smell, and her warm face when we played touch-your-nose at the gold mirror, and her salty kisses when we sat on Gramps's old army trunk in the attic and listened to the wind sing on the roof.

Blind since birth, Louis uses all his senses to love his grandmother and feel her love for him. When she dies and Louis seems to have been forgotten in the family treasure hunt Gran arranged in lieu of a will, he must hold on to his knowledge of her love for him and his memories of her smell--"lilacs, with a whiff of bleach"--and her "molasses voice" to know he could never have been overlooked. It is a lifetime later, when Louis is a grandfather himself, that his conviction is affirmed by his "favorite youngest grandchild's" discovery in Gran's much-loved hickory chair.

Nothing is overdone in Lisa Rowe Fraustino's beautiful story that shows the profound power of "blind sight," Gran's term for Louis's ability to "see" so much. And the exquisite paintings, in oils and fabric collage by artist Benny Andrews (Sky Sash So Blue) have a tactile appeal, drawing in the reader to Louis's world, as though we are seeing the way he does. (Ages 6 to 10)(

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✒️ Author & illustrator

Author: Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Website for Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Other books by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Illustrator: Benny Andrews

Website for Benny Andrews

Other books by Benny Andrews

📖 Topics from the book:

Visit each topic page for downloads, lessons, etc. specific to that topic.

📂 Units, Activities, and Resources for The Hickory Chair

Deciphering Braille
Explanation of the Braille system

Brown Sugar Rice Pudding

Why are we featuring this book?

The Hickory Chair is a book featured in Five in a Row, a literature-based unit study curriculum. Many families use FIAR for all but the grammar/reading and math, and others use it in conjunction with other resources. Above is information about the author and illustrator, story summaries, and links to lesson plans and websites that are great go-alongs for The Hickory Chair. Please note that these resources are meant to complement, not replace, the Five in a Row units. The Five in a Row volumes are inexpensive and well worth the investment.

As featured on

US News & World Report, Forbes, KQED, HuffPost,, Money, Healthline Parenthood, Family Education, Parents, Scholastic