Meet the First African American to Win a Newbery Medal

"(My ideas) come out of my imagination... my memories... of all the things I know."

“My mother would want to be remembered as a great writer, which is what she was,” says Virginia Hamilton’s son, Jamie Adoff. “She was able to change people’s perspectives on children’s literature.”

Virginia Hamilton (1934–2002) was the author of over forty books for children, young adults, and their older allies. Open Road is proud to publish seven of Hamilton’s titles, including M.C. Higgins, the Great, which earned her the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal (which she was the first African-American author to receive), and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. Watch archival footage of Virginia Hamilton, as well as new interviews with husband Arnold Adoff, son Jaime Adoff, and Professor Rudine Sims Bishop, in which they discuss Hamilton’s lasting legacy—her family and her work.

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