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Cousins (rev) (pb) Paperback – January 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590454366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590454360
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"'Gram?' Cammy leaned closer. Gram Tut's eyes were still closed. 'You're not dead yet, are you?' There was a long moment in which Cammy held her breath. But then, Tut gave a grin; said weakly, 'Fooled ya!' and shot her eyes wide open." Eleven-year-old Cammy and her Gram Tut have a special thing going. In fact, things are pretty good with her beautiful mother, Maylene, and her 16-year-old brother, Andrew, too. But dealing with her cousin Patty Ann is a whole different story. She is pretty--no, gorgeous--smart, spoiled, and she called Gram Tut "about dead." How could Cammy be expected to like her? She wishes Patty Ann would disappear off the face of the earth.

What if you wished something like that and it came true? It happens to Cammy, and it changes everything. As she speculates even before the tragedy, "...a day that was all blue sky could turn over dark and dangerous while she was playing a game with the other campers, or just sitting on a bench. It could happen that fast. Change." Fast-paced, immediate, and true, Cousins is a powerful, dramatic read. Winner of the Newbery Medal for M.C. Higgins, the Great, Virginia Hamilton masterfully brings the agonizing emotions of adolescence to life like few can. (Ages 9 to 12) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A tragedy forces Cammy to confront ambivalent feelings about two very different cousins; PW noted that this "elegant, stirring tapestry of family life . . . features strong characterizations and incisive writing." Ages 9-13.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Virginia Esther Hamilton was born, as she said, "on the outer edge of the Great Depression," on March 12, 1934. The youngest of five children of Kenneth James and Etta Belle Perry Hamilton, Virginia grew up amid a large extended family in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The farmlands of southwestern Ohio had been home to her mother's family since the late 1850s, when Virginia's grandfather, Levi Perry, was brought into the state as an infant via the Underground Railroad.

Virginia graduated at the top of her high-school class and received a full scholarship to Antioch College in Yellow Springs. In 1956, she transferred to the Ohio State University in Columbus and majored in literature and creative writing. She moved to New York City in 1958, working as a museum receptionist, cost accountant, and nightclub singer, while she pursued her dream of being a published writer. She studied fiction writing at the New School for Social Research under Hiram Haydn, one of the founders of Atheneum Press.

It was also in New York that Virginia met poet Arnold Adoff. They were married in 1960. Arnold worked as a teacher, and Virginia was able to devote her full attention to writing, at least until daughter Leigh was born in 1963 and son Jaime in 1967. In 1969, Virginia and Arnold built their "dream home" in Yellow Springs, on the last remaining acres of the old Hamilton/Perry family farm, and settled into a life of serious literary work and achievement.

In her lifetime, Virginia wrote and published 41 books in multiple genres that spanned picture books and folktales, mysteries and science fiction, realistic novels and biography. Woven into her books is a deep concern with memory, tradition, and generational legacy, especially as they helped define the lives of African Americans. Virginia described her work as "Liberation Literature." She won every major award in youth literature.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maria Jonas on March 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a young child, I read this book. I had to be about 10 or 11 and at the time I enjoyed it. Being an African American girl I identified with the book and remembered reading it a couple of times. A lot of these reviews listed on this book are from an adult point of view, and it is quite unfair to rate it based on an adult understanding. Seeing that most reviewers on Amazon are adults, there will probably be a bias no matter what. Virginia Hamilton knows her audience and that is all that is required. She captured attentions and wrote this book on a juvenile level, which I have found is hard for most adults to do. We're so bent on literary elements that are not even introduced to children until they get to about high school. Think - we do not understand Spongebob, Teletubbies and Yo Gabba Gabba. It's not for us. Adults, do not buy this for yourselves, buy this for your child!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aletheia Knights on September 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
The premise of this novel is intriguing: Cammy lives resentfully in the shadow of her near-perfect older cousin, Patty Ann, until Patty Ann is killed rescuing another child. The trouble is that very little of this novel has anything to do with this premise. There's exactly one interaction between Cammy and Patty Ann before Patty Ann dies. One. We don't really get a feel for the relationship between the cousins at all. There's a lot of rambling about other members of the family that never really comes out to anything related to the main plot. After Patty Ann dies, Cammy is severely troubled, but it's hard to tell exactly why. She doesn't seem to feel guilty about having resented Patty Ann when she was alive. Her feelings seem to have less to do with her cousin at all than simply to be some kind of realization that people actually die. The third cousin in the family, Elodie (tediously called L.O.D. for long passages of the novel), is not so much an actual character as some kind of prop. I don't know why Virginia Hamilton has received such high praise, as I have read four of her novels now and couldn't bring myself to rate any of them higher than three stars. I don't imagine I'll bother with any more of these tedious ramblings of hers that have somehow been labeled quality children's fiction.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most immediate, powerful books I've read in a long time. Sad story, but loaded with humor and warmth. Virginia Hamilton is a master, no question!
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By Luz Freites on October 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
It is a great book you would just want to cry way to soon but beautiful and once you read it your going to be addicted to the book till the end.5STARS
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By A Customer on July 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I'm sorry to say, I found it rather boring. But this is just one opinion. If you read this book, add your opinion.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrice A. Williams on December 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was good it was sad that the cousin that tried so hard to be accepted was lost forever in the end. I feel this book has a lot to say to young readers in terms of relationships. People are not always going to be around forever so it is best to love them where they are at.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By shalan on December 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This story was one of the best stories I have every read. Even though the story is fiction it seems very realistic. The story was sad at points but I loved the book!
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