Time Pieces by Virginia Hamilton

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Synopsis

Newbery Medalist Virginia Hamilton presents a novella that brings together the slave past and multi-generational present life of a young girl in Ohio.

From picking berries with her cousins to surviving a tornado to being dissed by a white, bigoted teacher, the daily life of Valena is drawn here with quiet dignity. Time Pieces are places in time, including chapters moving back to Hamilton's autobiographical family story of her grandfather's escape from slavery in Virginia, when he was brought to Ohio by his mother, a native American. A strong work of fiction from a master storyteller.
 

About Virginia Hamilton

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Virginia Hamilton was born March 12, 1934. She received a scholarship to Antioch College, and then went on to the Ohio State University in Columbus, where she majored in literature and creative writing. She also studied fiction writing at the New School for Social Research in New York. Her first children's book, Zeely, was published in 1967. During her lifetime, she wrote over 40 books including The People Could Fly; The Planet of Junior Brown; Bluish; Cousins; and the Dies Drear Chronicles. She was the first African American woman to win the Newbery Award, for M. C. Higgins, the Great. She has won numerous awards including three Newbery Honors, three Coretta Scott King Awards, an Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1995, and the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1995. She was also the first children's author to receive a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant in 1995. She died from breast cancer on February 19, 2002 at the age of 67.
 
Published November 1, 2002 by Blue Sky Press. 112 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The tales of Jahdu hang in the air, waiting for Lee Edward to pick one out, for Mama Luka to cup it in her hands and swallow it: how Jahdu, first finding his magic power, prevents Sweetdream and Nightmare from putting spells on little children;

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The scene ruptures with Mama's realization of what Willie Bea has been told by her hateful cousin Little Wing, also 12: Willie Ben's baby brother has been lured away again by Little Wing's gentle-monster brother, Big Wing--who is shooting pumpkins, with bow-and-arrow, off the compliant tot's head.

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Drawing in part from her own memories, the late, much-honored author takes a child through a summer of high times and low, of anxious moments and long, lazy days, of loss, love, laughter, and strengthening ties to the past.

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Publishers Weekly

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It's Harriet's recollections (referred to here as "reckons") that fill in some of the details of how Valena's grandfather escaped slavery with his mother and traveled the Underground Railroad from Virginia to freedom in Ohio (where Valena and her kin now live).

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Publishers Weekly

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Valena's mother, Harriet, relates these tales of times past, which at their best recall the mythic and inspirational qualities of the author's The People Could Fly—especially the story of tiny Tunny Maud, who is brought to Rothford Plantation (one "Occupant," as Harriet calls the captives held on...

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