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The People Could Fly

The People Could Fly

by Virginia Hamilton

"The People Could Fly," the title story in Virginia Hamilton's prize-winning American Black folktale collection, is a fantasy tale of the slaves who possessed the ancient magic words that enabled them to literally 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 have created powerful new illustrations in full color for every page of this picture book presentation of Virginia Hamilton's most beloved tale. Awards for The People Could Fly collection:

"The well-known author retells 24 black American folk tales in sure storytelling voice: animal tales, supernatural tales, fanciful and cautionary tales, and slave tales of freedom. All are beautifully readable. With the added attraction of 40 wonderfully expressive paintings by the Dillons, this collection should be snapped up."—School Library Journal

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 The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of the Year

8, 9, 10
Interest Level
Grades 3 - 5
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Book Type
Read-Aloud Book
Number of Pages
Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Fables

About the Author

Contributor Image Alt Tag Virginia Hamilton Virginia Hamilton received the 1992 Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the most prestigious international award in children's literature. She also won the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Awards, two Coretta Scott King Awards, an Edgar Allan Poe Award, and was the first children's author to receive a MacArthur Foundation "a genius" grant in 1995.

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