Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales and True Tales

Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales and True Tales

Hardcover(Library Binding)

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In the tradition of Hamilton's The People Could Fly and In the Beginning, a dramatic new collection of 25 compelling tales from the female African American storytelling tradition. Each story focuses on the role of women -- both real and fantastic -- and their particular strengths, joys and sorrows.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780590566032
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/28/1995
Pages: 144
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Virginia Hamilton (1936-2002) changed children's literature for generations of readers, winning every major award in her field across the globe. Her awards and honors include the Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, a MacArthur Fellowship, and four honorary doctorates. Virginia was married to Arnold Adoff, and they have two children and one grandchild.

Date of Birth:

March 12, 1936

Date of Death:

February 19, 2002

Place of Birth:

Yellow Springs, Ohio

Place of Death:

Yellow Springs, Ohio


Attended Antioch College, Ohio State University, and the New School for Social Research

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Her Stories African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
gwen.ashworth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hamilton, Virginia. Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales. New York: Blue Sky Press, 1995.Her Stories won the Corretta Scott King Award for writing in 1996. The nineteen stories in this book focus on folklore and stories handed down in oral tradition by African American women. Honoring the heritage of African Americans, and broadening their understanding of their past seems to be the theme of this book. One of the more perplexing tales was ¿Mary Belle and the Mermaid.¿ It is a Cinderella-like story of a young black girl whose mother became ill and died. Mary Belle¿s father remarried, and she was mistreated by her step-mother and step-sisters. Mary Belle would run to the river where she sang and talked with a mermaid who took her under water and feed her delicious treats. In the story, the mermaid is similar to the fairy godmother in Cinderella. When Mary Belle tells her family about the mermaid and all of the wonderful things she has provided for her, they are jealous. They go to the river and call up the mermaid. The father shoots the mermaid twice; the mermaid screams, then sinks and disappears, never to be seen again. The next day Mary Belle wades out into the river and disappears. The way that I would interpret this for children is that Mary Belle became a mermaid. Although this is unclear in the book which says, ¿Gone was she, like the mermaid and like her mother. Gone, gone. All the way gone. True.¿ To me, it seems that her father kills the mermaid and Mary Belle drowns herself, but I suppose it is open for interpretation. This story is attributed to South Carolina and dates back to the early 1900¿s, and there are similar stories brought from the Cape Verde Islands off the African coast and Portugal. If my interpretation is correct, this tale might reflect the hopelessness of the black community following slavery. Although they were freed, their circumstances had not improved. Many of the stories in this book deal with things like vampires, the devil and voodoo, and the ending of ¿Mary Belle and the Mermaid¿ was unclear, I would recommend this book for children ages ten and older due to the content.
josephm1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Coretta Scott King Award Winner 1995, 19 stories about African American women, folklore, fairytales
furthur66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting collection of more recent folk tales, focusing on women. Though some of the selections seem odd and ill-placed, I like the historical background provided and the tracing of the folk tales' orgins. The illustrations were also amusing.
kylies More than 1 year ago
I did not like this book at all. It was weird. I think it was a kid book but it was not my type. It was interesting but not enough. I read Lena and Big One Tiger.
taytianac More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. My favorite part is when the mermaid came and took the little girl under the water and fed her, but the sad part is when the mermaid got shot by the little girl's dad and she died.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great since it has tales of girls who have all the great qualities that every boy admires in a girl. It is also a collection of tales that has girls expressing every one of their emotions and strengths, and being a boy, I love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read this book in one day ANYONE who likes to read should read this book