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Extraordinary Magic

The Storytelling Life of

Virginia Hamilton


A TRUE TALE WITH

A CHERRY ON TOP


Christy Ottaviano Books

(Little Brown)


(pub.1.9.2024)

40 pages

Ages 4-8


Author and Illustrator: Nina Crews


Character: Virginia Hamilton


Overview:

"Virginia Hamilton was only nine years old when she decided she would become a writer. Growing up in the countryside of Ohio, she listened to her family’s stories and knew that words held extraordinary magic. From her childhood years discovering her love for storytelling, to her early adult life honing her craft in the city, Virginia found her voice in her writing as she began a career defined by her roots.  



Through interconnected poems, this moving biography celebrates the remarkable life of the highly decorated and much beloved Virginia Hamilton. It’s a stunning tribute to a girl who dared to dream—and inspired those after her to do the same.Virginia Hamilton was only nine years old when she decided she would become a writer. Growing up in the countryside of Ohio, she listened to her family’s stories and knew that words held extraordinary magic. From her childhood years discovering her love for storytelling, to her early adult life honing her craft in the city, Virginia found her voice in her writing as she began a career defined by her roots."


Tantalizing taste:


"They snuffed and snorted and grunted.

The hogs wallowed in the mud outside the barn.

The scent of hay and manure filled the air.


She shushed and tsked and

told the hogs to be just a little bit quieter.

Didn't they know that she was writing her novel?


Virginia filled page after page of her notebook,

dove deep into the stream of her dreams,

and soon, the world around her fell quiet."


And something more: Nina Crews, in the Author's Note explains that "Each poem in this book is anchored by a single word and highlights anecdotes and themes that Hamilton shared in speeches, essays, and interviews. She believed that childhood could provide all that a writer needed to create fiction. With that in mind, I let her descriptions of people, places, and events from her younger years lead me to this re-creation of her past. Her novels provided insights as well, for even though they are not autobiographical, her childhood finds its way into many of her stories."

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