Virginia Esther Hamilton (March 12, 1934 – February 19, 2002) was an African-American author of children's books. She wrote 41 books, including M. C. Higgins, the Great, for which she won the U.S. National Book Award in category Children's Books and the Newbery Medal in 1975.
Named for her grandfather's home state, Virginia Hamilton grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She attended Antioch College and then transferred to Ohio State University. She married the poet Arnold Adoff in 1960.
Hamilton's first book, as a child was "The Novel".[clarification needed] In 1967, she published Zeely. Over the course of her career, Hamilton won numerous awards, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Virginia Hamilton died of breast cancer on February 19, 2002. Three books have been published posthumously: Time Pieces, Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl, and Wee Winnie Witch's Skinny.
The Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth has been held at Kent State University each year since 1984.
She died of breast cancer in 2002.
The American Library Association established in 2010 the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award:
- To recognize an African American author, illustrator, or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution. The Award pays tribute to the late Virginia Hamilton and the quality and magnitude of her exemplary contributions through her literature and advocacy for children and youth, especially in her focus on African American life, history and consciousness.
Selected works 
- Zeely (1967)
- The House of Dies Drear (1968) —Dies Drear, part one
- The Time-Ago Tales of Jadhu (1969)
- The Planet of Junior Brown (1971)
- M.C. Higgins, the Great (1974)
- Arilla Sun Down (1976)
- Justice And Her Brothers (1978)
- Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush (1982)
- Willie Bea and the Time the Martians Landed (1983)
- The People Could Fly (1985)
- A White Romance (1987)
- The Mystery of Drear House (1987) —Dies Drear, part two
- In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World (1988)
- Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave (1988)
- Cousins (1990)
- Drylongso (1992)
- Plain City (1993)
- Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales (1995)
- Second Cousins (1998)
- Bluish (1999)
- The Girl Who Spun Gold (2000)
- Time Pieces: The Book of Times (2001)
- Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl (2003)
- Wee Winnie Witch’s Skinny: An Original African American Scare Tale (2004)
See also 
- "National Book Awards – 1975". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
- Children's Literature Comprehensive Database.[dead link]
- Virginia Hamilton – Awards and Honors. Hamilton Arts. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement". ALA. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Official website
- "Virginia Hamilton, Writer for Children, Is Dead at 65", Margarlit Fox, The New York Times, February 20, 2002