Virginia Hamilton: America's Storyteller

Julie K. Rubini (Author)


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.

Product Details

Ohio University Press
Publish Date
June 29, 2017
6.1 X 0.6 X 9.1 inches | 0.92 pounds

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About the Author

Julie K. Rubini is the founder of Claire's Day, a children's book festival in honor of her late daughter. She is the author of Hidden Ohio, Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist, and Virginia Hamilton: America's Storyteller. But most of all, she cherishes her roles as wife to Brad and mother to daughter Kyle and son Ian.


"If the children you know think biographies are boring, this one will make them reconsider. The tapestry of words Rubini weaves together brilliantly portrays the amazing, quirky, shy, frog-loving woman and extraordinary writer who was Virginia Hamilton.... Young readers will find this a quick, accessible, and memorable read.... A biography worthy of the larger-than-life Virginia Hamilton."--Kirkus (starred review)
"Julie Rubini has created a well-researched, empathetic, and thoughtful biography for young readers and their older allies. All the facts and chronologies are here, of course, but Virginia herself also shines through."--Arnold Adoff, Virginia Hamilton's husband
"[Hamilton's] life is presented in a way that will inspire young females to follow their dreams. Rubini interviewed Hamilton's husband and friends, and their accounts and memories are weaved throughout the pages....Children, teachers, public and school librarians, and parents alike will appreciate the stories of multiculturalism and diversity within the focal story."--Melissa Martion, Portsmouth Daily Times
"Virginia Hamilton: America's Storyteller is an inspiring, conscientiously researched, and clear-cut biography of America's most awarded author of children's literature....I loved the fact that Julie K. Rubini researched Virginia's life with the beautiful awareness that she was writing about someone whose story could arouse the dreams of aspiring young writers and artists who might think it is impossible to become larger than life because of their background, race, ethnic group, gender, or heritage."--Yolimari Garcia, Bookworms and Owls