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The People Could Fly: The Picture Book by…
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The People Could Fly: The Picture Book (2004)

by Virginia Hamilton

Other authors: Diane Dillon (Illustrator), Leo Dillon (Illustrator)

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This book tells the tale of how African Americans once could fly with beautiful wings before taken into slavery. When they can no longer take the hardships placed upon them determination arises within and leads to the regaining of flight. Leaving their hardships behind they rise up on wings they had long forgotten. ( )
  nicolehalbur | Jan 17, 2019 |
The People Could Fly is a folktale from slavery-era America. It tells the story of slaves who were able to fly but forgot their powers when they were taken from their homeland. One day, a slave who remembered set many of his fellow slaves free and helped them fly away. The text is written in an African-American dialect, which I thought was fitting and set the tone for the story as one that is supposed to be read aloud. The illustrations are haunting and beautiful, as is the story itself. This would be a great addition to any classroom library. ( )
  alootens1 | Nov 17, 2018 |
The People Could Fly by Virgina Hamilton is a retelling of a American Black Folktale. A group of slaves can't handle their starvation and sadness any longer and call upon African magic. The magic creates wings for everyone to fly away.
  greinertsen17 | Nov 1, 2018 |
The People Could Fly by Virgina Hamilton is a retelling of a American Black Folktale. A group of slaves can't handle their starvation and sadness any longer and call upon African magic. The magic creates wings for everyone to fly away.
  greinertsen17 | Nov 1, 2018 |
Beautiful colots and nicely told story about death. The pictures were elegsnt for telling of death in slavery times.
  cterrell4253 | Aug 23, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Virginia Hamiltonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, DianeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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THE PEOPLE COULD FLY: THE PICTURE BOOK (2004) should not be combined with THE PEOPLE COULD FLY: AMERICAN BLACK FOLKTALES (1985).
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This is a vibrant, both in prize-winning illustration and writing, re-tell of a Black folktale about slaves who had the magic ability to "fly" to freedom. While those who didn't have the ability used the power of imagination in passing along the story to set themselves free. This book could be a powerful dialogue opener regarding slavery and freedom - hope and change in general - and the larger issue of equality/inequality we still face today; likely a topic for grade school level, maybe even tied to an equality lesson of some sort or Black history month etc.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375824057, Hardcover)

“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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:34 -0400)

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In this retelling of a folktale, a group of slaves, unable to bear their sadness and starvation any longer, calls upon the African magic that allows them to fly away.

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