The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales, 1985 first edition, by Virginia Hamilton.


Written by Virginia Hamilton. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.

The Peculiar Such Thing

"A long time ago way off in the high piney woods lived a fellow all alone. He lived in a one-room log cabin. There was a big old fireplace, and that is where this fellow cooked his support to eat it right in front of the fire.

"One night, after the fellow had cooked and ate his supper, somethin crept through the cracks of the cabin logs. That somethin was the most peculiar such thing the fellow ever saw. And it had a great, big, long tail."

The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton is a collection of African-American folktales that celebrate the rich and diverse oral tradition of Black culture. The stories range from animal and fairy tales to supernatural tales and tales of enslaved Africans who used magic to escape their oppression. The People Could Fly won several awards, including the Coretta Scott King Award. The book features stunning illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon that capture the spirit and beauty of the stories.

Virginia Hamilton (1936-2002) was an acclaimed American author of 41 children's books spanning various genres and themes. She was the first Black author to win the Newbery Medal for her novel M. C. Higgins, the Great (1974), and also received the National Book Award and the Coretta Scott King Award. Hamilton received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, considered the Nobel Prize of children's literature. Hamilton drew inspiration from her family's stories of escaping slavery and living on a farm in Ohio, as well as from African-American folklore and history.
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Condition*: Very Good/Good. Dust jacket: Moderate shelf wear; corners bumped; small closed tear on the front, lower left; small closed tear on the back, lower edge; open tear and crease at head of the spine, chipped at the tail. Quarter-bound green and blue/gray cloth cover boards: Small spot on the front cover. Separation at top of the hinge between front paste down and fly leaf; front fly leaf is clipped at top right corner. Pages are clean, complete, and undamaged.

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