The Shrouding Woman

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About The Shrouding Woman

The moving story of a young girl’s struggle to face her mother’s death. Set in the mid-1800s, this beautifully written story, centered on the little-known practice of shrouding, touches on death and healing with sensitivity and quiet dignity.

“She traveled to our small white house near the Iowa border on a buckboard, her green bag caked with the dusty road … I knew that she was called ‘the Shrouding Woman’ because I’d heard Papa use those words to describe her. I didn’t know what it meant but I knew it had something to do with death.”

It was once common practice for small towns to have a shrouding woman to help put their dead to rest. Still, when eleven-year-old Evie’s Aunt Flo—herself a shrouding woman— comes to town, Evie knows little of a shrouding woman’s ways and wants nothing to do with this aunt of hers, especially after her own mother’s recent death. But as this mysterious woman slowly makes her way into Evie’s life, her strong and sensitive presence brings far more than signs of death to a grieving girl’s home.

More About This Book

  • Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0805066517
  • Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0805081855
  • Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 160
  • Ages: 9 and up


Honors and Recognition

  • Booklist, American Library Association

  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  • Horn Book

  • School Library Journal

  • VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

  • Washington Post Book World

  • Rebecca Caudill Nominee, 2005

  • Amelia Bloomer Project List, 2003


The Shrouding Woman gently breaks new ground for children in removing some of the mystery from what some view as our last remaining obscenity, death.”

School Library Journal

“As solid as a Dutch farmhouse interior and full of glimpses of lost pioneer traditions, from soap-making to the step-by-step ritual of preparing a dead body for burial.”

Washington Post