Virginia Hamilton facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Virginia Esther Hamilton (March 12, 1934 – February 19, 2002) was an African-American author of children's books. She was born and raised in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Virginia Hamilton’s mother was Etta Bella Perry Hamilton and her father was Kenneth James Hamilton. She attended Antioch College, Ohio State University, and New School for Social Research. On March 19, 1960 Hamilton married Arnold Adoff. They had two children together, Leigh Hamilton Adoff and Jamie Levi Adoff.

Virginia Hamilton wrote mainly about African American folktales and heritage.  Hamilton wrote her stories first thinking about characterization, settings, and themes, then touching on racial topics.  She also wrote about social issues, sibling rivalry, and peer pressure.

She received many awards for her writing. For M. C. Higgins, the Great, a tale of a black boy growing up poor in the South, she won the U.S. National Book Award and the Newbery Medal in 1975. For lifetime achievement, she won the international Hans Christian Andersen Award for writing children's literature in 1992 and a Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1995. Because of the racial discrimination against African Americans during her lifetime, her achievements are especially important.

She died in Dayton, Ohio of breast cancer.


Virginia Hamilton Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.