cover image Extraordinary Magic: The Storytelling Life of Virginia Hamilton

Extraordinary Magic: The Storytelling Life of Virginia Hamilton

Nina Crews. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-38359-2

Before she was an award–winning author of children’s books, Virginia Hamilton (1934–2002) learned the art of storytelling from her close-knit family, who “knew that a good story doesn’t/ have to be exactly true.” Crews’s free-verse poems recount Hamilton’s Ohio upbringing learning from her father about Black luminaries, and wondering how she might shine like the starry individuals in her beloved family. After using her imagination to escape a nightmare, nine-year-old Hamilton determines to be a writer, and so she writes, filling her notebook and moving to New York City before finding success—then returning with her own family to the land where she was born. Digitally rendered, shape-based illustrations attend slice-of-life lines to emphasize Hamilton’s experiences walking through the world as a storyteller whose “most extravagant trips/ were in her mind.” An author’s note and timeline conclude. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)