by Julie K. Rubini
Ohio University Press, 2017
Paper: 978-0-8214-2269-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8214-2268-7 | eISBN: 978-0-8214-4601-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3558.A444Z85 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of 2018 (Outstanding Merit selection) • Finalist, 2018 Ohioana Book Award

Long before she wrote The House of Dies Drear, M. C. Higgins, the Great, and many other children’s classics, Virginia Hamilton grew up among her extended family near Yellow Springs, Ohio, where her grandfather had been brought as a baby through the Underground Railroad. The family stories she heard as a child fueled her imagination, and the freedom to roam the farms and woods nearby trained her to be a great observer. In all, Hamilton wrote forty-one books, each driven by a focus on “the known, the remembered, and the imagined”—particularly within the lives of African Americans.

Over her thirty-five-year career, Hamilton received every major award for children’s literature. This new biography gives us the whole story of Virginia’s creative genius, her passion for nurturing young readers, and her clever way of crafting stories they’d love.