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Virginia Hamilton



Virginia Hamilton
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.01

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    great, slavery, settled, storyteller, hearing, scholarship, stories, working, jobs, literature, bills, escape, slave, safety, truly, writing
     content words:    For Virginia Hamilton, Virginia Hamilton, Levi Perry, Underground Railroad, New York City


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Virginia Hamilton
By Brandi Waters
  

1     Great stories can take you to new places. They can take you to the past. They can take you to the future. Great stories are the ones that you never want to end. They always leave you wanting more. Not everyone can tell great stories. It is a skill. For Virginia Hamilton, it was a skill she learned from her parents.
 
2     Virginia Hamilton was born in Ohio in1934. She was named after the state where her grandfather was born. Her grandfather's name was Levi Perry. He was born in Virginia. His parents were slaves. He was a slave, too, until he made his escape. As a child, Levi ran from his home. He used the Underground Railroad to get to freedom in Ohio. The Underground Railroad was a path. Slaves used it to get to a free land. All along the path were places to help keep them safe. There were houses for them to sleep in. There were hiding places. There were secret passages. There were people who helped them, too. Many free people believed that slavery was wrong. They helped slaves get to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Levi made it to safety. He settled in Ohio. Later, he started a family. He had ten children. Every year, he told his children the story of how he escaped from slavery. He told that story to make sure that his children never became slaves to anyone.
 
3     Virginia's mother and father were both very good storytellers. Virginia never got tired of hearing their stories. The stories shared a piece of history. They taught Virginia about her heritage. They also taught her the things that make a good story.

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