Virginia Hamilton's Coretta Scott King Honor book is the breathtaking fantasy tale of slaves who possessed ancient magic that enabled them to fly away to freedom. And it is a moving tale of those who did not have the opportunity to “fly” away, who remained slaves with only their imaginations to set them free as they told and retold this tale.
Leo and Diane Dillon's powerful illustrations accompany Hamilton's voice as it sings out from the pages with the soaring cadences that echo the story tellers of her childhood as the granddaughter of a fugitive slave.
Awards for The People Could Fly collection:
A Coretta Scott King Award
A Booklist Children’s Editors’ Choice
A School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
A Horn Book Fanfare
An ALA Notable Book
An NCTE Teachers’ Choice
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year
VIRGINIA HAMILTON, the first black person to win a Newbery Medal and the first children's book author to be awarded a MacArthur genius grant, won the Coretta Scott King Award for The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. In her lifetime, Virginia wrote and published 41 books in multiple genres that spanned picture books and folktales, mysteries and science fiction, realistic novels and biography. Woven into her books is a deep concern with memory, tradition, and generational legacy, especially as they helped define the lives of African Americans. Virginia described her work as "Liberation Literature." She won every major award in youth literature.
LEO and DIANE DILLON, recepients of two Caldecott Medals, have illustrated five books by Virginia Hamilton, including the original black-and-white illustrations in The People Could Fly collection, Many Thousand Gone, and Her Stories.