Denise Lewis Patrick

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Love for A Matter Of Souls

An excerpt from the story "Night Searching:" "...if Freddie survived, he would live hard, and hurt, never use that mind or those gifted hands the same way again. Maybe his life wouldn’t be much different from what it would have been if none of this had ever happened, she thought. His life would have been hard, and hurtful, and hardly ever right, even if this night had never happened."

"Shocking, informative and powerful..."

Kirkus Reviews

"...excellent additions to the body of historical fiction focusing on the Black American experience..."

School Library Journal

"...Compelling and thought provoking."


"...the complexity of each moment marks its power."

The Horn Book Magazine

For a free study guide and bookmark, plus another great excerpt, go to or

Selected Works

"Word to the Wise," included in an amazing anthology of poetry for children.
Historical Fiction
Cecile Amelie Rey is a free girl of color in 1850's New Orleans. It's an exciting time in her life-- Mardi Gras season, full of parties and balls, is coming up. More importantly, her beloved brother Armand is about to return from two years of study in France. But when she meets a new friend, unexpected adventures begin!
What happens to Cecile, her family, and her friend Marie-Grace as disaster hits the entire city of New Orleans? Find out how Cecile learns to deal with some difficult problems, and learns a lot about her own strengths.
Every person is special, Cecile learns. But what, exactly, is the gift she has to offer her family and her beloved city of New Orleans?
“In a voice strong and true, Patrick’s narrator easily carries the story, winning readers; hearts…”
Kirkus Reviews
Picture Book
“This heartwarming story is just right for intergenerational sharing.”
–School Library Journal
From The Childhood of Famous Americans Series of Books