Virginia Hamilton Katherine Paterson - Essay

Katherine Paterson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

There are those who say that Virginia Hamilton is a great writer but that her books are hard to get into. [Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush] is not. It fairly reaches off the first page to grab you, and once it's got you, it sets you spinning deeper and deeper into its story. Needless to say, this is not a conventional ghost story. In fact, the function of the ghost in this book is to provide 14-year-old Tree Pratt with a place from which to view her world. (p. 41)

Through the space of [the ghost of] Brother Rush, Tree mystically learns the tragic history of her mother's people. But why does she need to know these things? Why has Brother Rush come? What are his whispers—the message—that he...

(The entire section is 432 words.)