Virginia’s Books

1967. Zeely. Illustrated by Symeon Shimin. New York: Macmillan. In this female initiation story, Geeder Perry and her brother, Toeboy, go to their uncle’s farm for the summer and encounter a six-and-a-half-foot-tall Watutsi queen and a mysterious night traveler.

1968. The House of Dies Drear. Illustrated by Eros Keith. New York: Macmillan. Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Thomas Small and his family move to the great and forbidding House of Dies Drear, a home that was on the Underground Railroad, and trouble begins.

1969. The Time-Ago Tales of Jahdu. Illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian. New York: Macmillan. Four light-hearted tales celebrate the deeds of a “strong black boy,” who is a world-class trickster.

1971. The Planet of Junior Brown. New York: Macmillan. A Newbery Honor Book. Junior Brown, a 300-pound musical prodigy, plays a piano with no sound while his homeless friend, Buddy Clark, draws on all his wit and New York City resources to protect Junior and save his disintegrating mind.

1972. W. E. B. Du Bois: A Biography. New York: Crowell. Here is a study of the great scholar’s life, through which he strives to live up to his enormous potential and to liberate himself from all manner of governmental, political, and societal constraints.

1973. Time-Ago Lost: More Tales of Jahdu. Illustrated by Ray Prather. New York: Macmillan. More tales of the world-class trickster.

1974. M.C. Higgins, the Great. New York: Macmillan. Winner of the John Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. Mayo Cornelius Higgins, called M.C., sits atop a forty-foot pole on the side of Sarah’s Mountain and dreams of escape. But poised above his home is a massive spoil heap from strip mining that could come crashing down.

1974. Paul Robeson: The Life and Times of a Free Black Man. New York: Harper & Row. The importance of the famous athlete, singer, movie star, and political activist becomes clear in this compelling biography.

1975. The Writings of W .E. B. Du Bois. New York: Crowell. A selection of essays, articles, speeches, and excerpts from writings by W. E. B. Du Bois records his views on a variety of social injustices. Edited by Virginia Hamilton.

1976. Arilla Sun Down. New York: Greenwillow. This novel of psychic realism follows the story of a biracial family in which the daughter, Arilla, is uncertain of her identity in light of her older brother’s overwhelming Amerindian warrior presence.

1978. Justice and Her Brothers. New York: Greenwillow. The first book of the Justice Trilogy. In these novels, the protagonist, Justice Douglass, her brothers, Thomas and Levi, and a friend, Dorian, mind-jump to a future Earth a million years from today, only to find a wasteland controlled by an entity known as Mal.

1980. Dustland. New York: Greenwillow. The second book of the Justice Trilogy.

1980. Jahdu. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. New York:(Greenwillow. More tales of the grand trickster.

1981. The Gathering. New York: Greenwillow. The third book of the Justice Trilogy.