1988  In the Beginning is named the ALA Best Book for Young Adults, National Science Teachers Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children, Newbery Honor Book, Parents Magazine’s Best Book of the Year, Time magazine’s One of the Twelve Best Books for Young Readers and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, among others.

1989  Virginia is named distinguished writing professor, Graduate School of Education, The Ohio State University.

1990  Virginia receives the Catholic Literary Association’s Regina Medal. The only criterion for this award is excellence. The Regina Medal is awarded annually to a “living exemplar of the words of the English poet Walter de la Mare ‘only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young,’ for continued, distinguished contribution to children’s literature.”

1992  Virginia wins the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing, the highest international recognition bestowed on an author or illustrator of children’s literature. She was only the fourth American to win the award, which has been presented every other year since 1956.

1993  Virginia delivers the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture in Richmond, Va.

1993  Virginia speaks at the Pacific Rim Conference in Kyoto, Japan.

1995  Virginia becomes the first children’s book author ever to win a MacArthur Fellowship, nicknamed the “genius award.”

1995  Virginia is awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”

1996  Virginia is a recipient of a NAACP Image Award for Her Stories.

2001  Virginia is awarded The University of Southern Mississippi de Grummond Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. This was Virginia’s last public address. It also marks the first and only time that she appeared professionally with her son, Jaime Adoff.

She continued to write, travel and lecture, spending time with her son Jaime in New York City and daughter Leigh in Berlin, Germany.

Virginia Hamilton died of breast cancer on Feb. 19, 2002. Three books have been published posthumously: Time Pieces, Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl, and Wee Winnie Witch’s Skinny.

Her first grandchild, Anaya Grace Adoff, was born Nov. 26, 2008.