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Children's Literature Reviews
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The people could fly : American Black folktales
told by Virginia Hamilton ; illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.
Contributor biographical information
Publisher description
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, c1985.
xii, 178 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.


Bibliography: p. 175-178.
Retold Afro-American folktales of animals, fantasy, the supernatural, and desire for freedom, born of the sorrow of the slaves, but passed on in hope.

Best Books:

50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read, 2006 ; Cooperative Children's Book Center; United States
Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Tenth Edition, 1988 ; National Council of Teachers of English; United States
Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages, 2003 ; Bank Street College of Education; United States
Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 ; H.W. Wilson; United States
Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson; United States
Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition, 2000 ; H.W. Wilson; United States
Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition, 2005 ; H.W. Wilson; United States
Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002 ; California Department of Education; California

Awards, Honors, Prizes:

Coretta Scott King Book Award, 1986 Honor Book Illustrator Award United States
Coretta Scott King Book Award, 1986 Winner Author United States
Coretta Scott King Book Award, 1986 Winner Author Award United States
New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of the Year, 1985 Winner United States
Parents' Choice Award, 1985 Gold Story Books United States
Parents' Choice Award, 2003 Gold Best 25 Books in 25 Years United States

State and Provincial Reading Lists:

Kentucky Bluegrass Award, 1988 ; Nominee; Kentucky
Texas Reading Club, 1998 ; Texas
Texas Reading Club, 2003 ; Texas

Curriculum Tools:

Link to Coretta Scott King curricular resources at

Reading Measurement Programs:

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 4.3
Accelerated Reader Points 4
Accelerated Vocabulary

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.
Adult Directed
Lexile Measure AD480L

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 3-5
Reading Level 4
Title Point Value 6
Lexile Measure 660


Debra Briatico (Children's Literature)
This classic collection contains twenty-four tales, stories, and riddles about animals, fantasy and the supernatural handed down by African slaves before and during the Civil War period. These stories, born out of the sorrow of slaves, focus on freedom and triumph and bring hope to all who read them. Bruh Rabbit and the Two Johns are just some of the fascinating characters featured in this enchanting anthology. Dillon's mystical and inspiring black-and-white illustrations perfectly complement Hamilton's well-written prose. 1985, Alfred A. Knopf, $18.00, $18.99 and $13.00. Ages 8 up.

Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
Three winners of multiple honors have created this incomparable book. The Dillons illustrate Hamilton's 24 stories with marvelous pictures alive with the spirit of each: sly humor, mystery, pathos and, most powerfully, the human need for freedom. In the author's introduction and notes, we find information on black history, on the original slave storytellers"voices from the past''that include her own ancestors. The stories are given full effect by Hamilton's use of colloquial language, evoking the artless entertainer relating the exploits of ``Bruh Rabbit'' and other animal tricksters. The reader's emotional response, however, is to the artists' depictions and the author's narrative in ``The People Could Fly.'' They are the slaves from Gulla who, according to legend, escape the master's abuse one day. ``They rose on the air. Say they flew away to Free-dom.'' (All ages).


African Americans Folklore.
Tales--United States.
African Americans Folklore.
Folklore--United States.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ8.1.H154 Pe 1985
84025020 398.2/08996073
0394969251 (lib. bdg.)
View the WorldCat Record for this item.