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Celebrating Virginia Hamilton

I recently read and reviewed The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith, a book about the ways slavery and the Underground Railroad still haunt us (both metaphorically and literally). It had me wanting to reread The House of Dies Drear and wishing my copy were with me in Boston rather than in California at my parents’ place.

Luckily for me and other Virginia Hamilton fans, Open Road Integrated Mediahas just put up seven new ebooks by the Newbery and Coretta Scott King award (and three-time Boston Globe–Horn Book award) winner. The ebook versions of Dies Drear and novels M.C. Higgins, the Great, Cousins, Anthony Burns, Zeely, Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush, and The Planet of Junior Brown feature new covers and biographical info. Open Road has a great mini-documentary about Hamilton on their website. Be sure to also check out author Pam Muñoz Ryan’s touching “Letter to Virginia Hamilton,” written for Ryan’s Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for Multicultural Literature acceptance speech last spring. While the release of these new ebooks is timely for Black History Month, I hope that recognition of black history—and the incredible legacy of Virginia Hamilton—is a year-round celebration.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.



  1. Gigi Amateau says:

    >Thanks for this post! I just rediscovered Many Thousands Gone by Virginia Hamilton. You are right on – what an incredible legacy.

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