Awards and Honors

Virginia Hamilton was one of the most distinguished authors of twentieth century youth literature. She received nearly every award in the field during her thirty-five-year career, including:

Arbuthnot Honor Lecture (American Library Association), 1993

Blackboard African American Bestsellers Winner (Her Stories), 1996

Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction (Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush; M.C. Higgins, the Great) and for Nonfiction (Anthony Burns)

Coretta Scott King Award (The People Could Fly; Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush; Her Stories) and Honor Book Award (Anthony Burns; The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl; The Bells of Christmas)

De Grummond Medal, 2001, University of Southern Mississippi

Distinguished Achievement Award, 1997

Edgar Allan Poe Award (“The Edgar”) from Mystery Writers of America (The House of Dies Drear)

Hans Christian Andersen Medal, for the body of her work, 1992

International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor Book (Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush)

International Hans Christian Andersen Medal, U.S. Honor Book (M.C. Higgins, the Great)

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award (Anthony Burns)

John Newbery Medal (M.C. Higgins, the Great) and Honor Book (Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush; The Planet of Junior Brown; In The Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World)

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, for the body of her work, 1995

Library of Congress Best Books for Children (Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush)

MacArthur Fellowship (“Genius Award”), 1995

The Marquis Who’s Who in America, 1996

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children (Her Stories)

National Book Award (M.C. Higgins, the Great)

New York Times Outstanding Children’s Book of the Year (M.C. Higgins, the Great)

Ohio Humanities Council, Richard Bjornson Distinguished Service Award, 1993

Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame, 1993

Ohioana Award: The Body of Work by Virginia Hamilton (1984); Career Medal (1991); Ohio’s Favorite Author of Children’s Books (1999)

Ohio Governor’s Award, 2000

Regina Medal of the Catholic Library Association, 1991

Storytelling World Award, 1996 (Her Stories)

Time Magazine, One of 12 Best Books for Young Readers, 1988 (In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World)

The Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth at Kent State University, an annual event begun in 1984 and named for the writer

Distinguished Visiting Professor (Graduate School, Department of Education, Queens College, New York, 1986-87 and 1987-88; Graduate School, Department of Educational Theory and Practice, The Ohio State University, Ohio, 1988-89)

Honorary Degrees, Doctor of Humane Letters:

  • Bank Street College of Education, New York City, New York
  • Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
  • Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio