Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush
Author(s): Virginia Hamilton
National Book Award Finalist * Newbery Honor Book * Coretta Scott King Award Winner
This towering classic from the esteemed author Virginia Hamilton "is like a thoughtfully designed African American quilt. It is finely stitched, tightly constructed, and rooted in cultural authenticity."*
Why had Brother Rush come to her, with his dark secrets from a long-ago past? What was the purpose of their strange, haunting journeys back into her own childhood?
Was it to help Dab, her older brother, who sometimes took more care and love than Tree had to give? Was it for her mother, M'Vy, who loved them the best she knew how but wasn't home enough to ease the terrible longing?
Whatever secrets Brother Rush's whispered message held, Tree knew she must follow. She must follow Brother Rush through the magic mirror, and find out the truth. About all of them.
Katherine Paterson, reviewing this powerful novel in The New York Times, commented: "Just read the first page, just the first paragraph, of Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush. Then stop—if you can. The last time a first paragraph chilled my spine like this one, I was sixteen years old, hunched over a copy of Rebecca."
*Geraldine Wilson in Interracial Books for Children Bulletin
“This is Hamilton at her best, with a humane acceptance of people in their struggle, and hope for the power of their love.”
"Characters as complex, contradictory, and ambivalent as is life itself: sometimes weak, sometimes attractive, always fiercely human. Few writers for young people are as daring, inventive, and challenging to read as Virginia Hamilton.”
"Just read the first page, just the first paragraph, of Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush. Then stop—if you can. The last time a first paragraph chilled my spine like this one, I was sixteen years old, hunched over a copy of Rebecca. It fairly reaches off the first page to grab you. Unique...wonderfully human."
"This is a superb book, convincing and profoundly affecting.”
"One of Hamilton's deeply felt family stories. Like other Hamilton novels this has its rough edges, but they are outweighed here by the blazing scenes, the intensity of Tree's feelings, the glimpses of Dab through her eyes, and the rounded characterization of Vy."
American Book Award Honor Book, ALA Notable Children’s Book, Coretta Scott King Award (Author), Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, Newbery Honor Book