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Virginia Hamilton: Criticism and Reviews

The Internet Public Library features links to articles of criticism of the works of Virginia Hamilton.

Voices from the Gaps - Women Writers of Color has an article of biography and criticism on Virginia Hamilton.

Wille Bea and the Time the Martians Landed was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.

"'I double never ever never lie to my chil'ren': Inside People in Virginia Hamilton's Narratives." is an article by Roberta Seelinger Trites, from the African American Review, Spring, 1998.

Additional criticism and review of Virginia Hamilton's works can be found at your local public library.

The following reviews can be accessed online only by an individual who has a current library card through this address.

"Virginia Hamilton: Overview."
Critic: Anne Creany.
Twentieth-Century Young Adult Writers, 1st ed., edited by Laura Standley Berger, St. James Press, 1994.

"Virginia Hamilton is a gifted writer, known for her versatility and command of the art of storytelling. Her works encompass every genre of prose and all of them reflect her experiences as an African American…"

"A Review of The Dark Way: Stories from the Spirit World."
Critic: Wendy Martin.
The Dark Way: Stories from the Spirit World, in The New York Times Book Review, August 11, 1991, p. 16.

"In this sophisticated yet accessible collection of 25 legends, fables, cautionary lore, tall tales, creation myths, parables and ghost stories, the novelist Virginia Hamilton, who has lately been working with folklore materials returns her readers to…"

"A Review of Many Thousand gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom."
Critic: David Haward Bain.
Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom, in The New York Times Book Review, February 21, 1993, p. 23.

"Any parent or educator must grapple with the problem of such horrors as war, intolerance and slavery. There is probably no better way to convey the meaning of the institution of slavery as it existed in the United States to young readers than by using as a text to share and discuss Many Thousand Gone: African Americans From Slavery to Freedom, by Virginia Hamilton…"

"A Review of M. C. Higgins, the Great."
Critic: Nikki Giovanni.
The New York Times Book Review, September 22, 1974, p. 8.

"They say the pity of youth is that it's wasted on the young. Since we're well into our thirties and because we love the stories of Virginia Hamilton we must agree…"

"A Review of The Gathering."
Critic: Joyce Milton.
The New York Times Book Review, September 27, 1981, p. 36.

"The Gathering is the third volume of a trilogy about time travel that might conveniently be called science fiction but is more accurately described as a poet's flight into the future…"

"Family Visions."
Critic: Katherine Paterson.
The New York Times Book Review, November 14, 1982, pp. 41, 56.

"There are those who say that Virginia Hamilton is a great writer but that her books are hard to get into. (Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush) is not. It fairly reaches off the first page to grab you, and once it's got you, it sets you spinning deeper and deeper into its story…"

"A Review of Arilla Sun Down."
Critic: Jane Langton.
The New York Times Book Review, October 31, 1976, p. 39.

"Virginia Hamilton likes dangerous edges. She tries things that might not work. Her books are experimental, different, strange. She runs bravely along the edges of cliffs. Her characters also exist on the edges of things. Often they…"

"Books from Parallel Cultures: Celebrating a Silver Anniversary."
Critic: Rudine Sims Bishop.
The Horn Book Magazine, Vol. LXIX, No. 2, March-April, 1993, pp. 175-80.

"At a time when few positive images of Africans and African Americans existed in mainstream children's literature, and few African-American writers were involved in the creation of what images there were, Zeely appeared, from inside a parallel culture, affirming beauty where others had found only difference and exoticism. At a time when most of the books featuring African-American characters were focusing on segregation, integration, or discrimination, Zeely presented the summer experience of an everyday, but extraordinary, young African-American girl…"

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