The People Could Fly

The People Could Fly

The Picture Book

By Virginia Hamilton; Leo Dillon (Illustrator); Diane Dillon (Illustrator)

Alfred A. Knopf, Hardcover, 9780375824050, 32pp.

Publication Date: November 9, 2004

THE PEOPLE COULD FLY, the title story in Virginia Hamilton's prize-winning American Black folktale collection, is a fantasy tale of the slaves who possessed the ancient magic words that enabled them to literally fly away to freedom. And it is a moving tale of those who did not have the opportunity to fly away, who remained slaves with only their imaginations to set them free as they told and retold this tale.
Leo and Diane Dillon have created powerful new illustrations in full color for every page of this picture book presentation of Virginia Hamilton's most beloved tale. The author's original historical note as well as her previously unpublished notes are included.
Awards for "The People Could Fly" collection:
A Coretta Scott King Award
A "Booklist" Children's Editors Choice
A "School Library Journal" Best Books of the Year
A "Horn Book" Fanfare
An ALA Notable Book
An NCTE Teachers Choice
A "New York Times" Best Illustrated Children's Books of the Year.

About the Author
Virginia Hamilton (1934 2002) was the author of over forty books for children, young adults, and their older allies. Throughout a career that spanned four decades, Hamilton earned numerous accolades for her work, including nearly every major award available to writers of youth literature. In 1974, "M.C. Higgins, the Great" earned Hamilton the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal (which she was the first African-American author to receive), and the "Boston Globe Horn ""Book" Award, three of the field s most prestigious awards. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition bestowed on a writer of books for young readers, in 1992, and in 1995 became the first children s book author to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, or Genius Award. She was also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award.

Mem Fox is the author of many acclaimed books, including "Hattie and the Fox", "Time for Bed", "Hello Baby!", "Two Little Monkeys", the "New York Times" bestselling "Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes", as well as the adult title "Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever". She lives in Adelaide, Australia. Visit her at

Diane Dillon is director of scholarly and undergraduate programs at the Newberry Library.