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M.C. Higgins the Great

M C Higgins the Great M C s family is rooted to the slopes of Sarah s Mountain His great grandmother escaped to the mountain as a runaway slave and made it her home It bears her name and her descendants have lived there e

  • Title: M.C. Higgins the Great
  • Author: Virginia Hamilton
  • ISBN: 9780689830747
  • Page: 225
  • Format: Hardcover
  • M.C s family is rooted to the slopes of Sarah s Mountain His great grandmother escaped to the mountain as a runaway slave and made it her home It bears her name, and her descendants have lived there ever since When M.C looks out from atop the gleaming forty foot pole that his father planted in the mountain for him a gift for swimming the Ohio River he sees onlyM.C s family is rooted to the slopes of Sarah s Mountain His great grandmother escaped to the mountain as a runaway slave and made it her home It bears her name, and her descendants have lived there ever since When M.C looks out from atop the gleaming forty foot pole that his father planted in the mountain for him a gift for swimming the Ohio River he sees only the rolling hills and shady valleys that stretch out for miles in front of him And M.C knows why his father never wants his family to leave But when M.C looks behind, he sees only the massive remains of strip mining a gigantic heap of dirt and debris perched threateningly on a cliff above his home And M.C knows they cannot stay So when two strangers arrive in the hills, one bringing the promise of fame in the world beyond the mountains and the other the revelation that choice and action both lie within his grasp, M.C s life is changed forever In 1974, Virginia Hamilton dazzled the world with her powerful account of a young man s coming of age trapped between heritage of his mountain home and his desires for the future Twenty five years later, M.C Higgins, the Great remains the only novel ever to win the Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award It is truly an American classic.

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    1 thought on “M.C. Higgins the Great

    1. I'm sorry to say I didn't really enjoy this book. So far there hasn't been a Newberry Award winner I haven't liked, but I just didn't get this one. To start with, the pole was confusing. It's 40 high, and there's a bicycle seat on top, and pedals that do nothing, and only MC can climb it but it's also a memorial? Huh? This book was like a poem I can't grasp, or like a dream that is confusing and a little disturbing but you can't quite remember what happened or why it bothered you. The writing wa [...]

    2. I'm at a loss, I either want to give this book five stars or one. I see by the average of almost exactly three I am not alone.It took me most of the week to get M.C. read. I’m not sure what I expected, by the title maybe something along the lines of Ramona the Brave or The Great Gilly Hopkins – a mix of audaciousness self-delusion and vulnerability? Come to think of it, I guess that is what I got with M.C but in such a different package from than what Cleary and Patterson delivered.Although [...]

    3. M.C. Higgins didn't seem all that great to me, unfortunately. I just didn't like the guy that much, even if pole-sitting and wearing lettuce leaves stuck in rubber bands around your wrists greeting the sun was interesting. I wanted to like this book by Virginia Hamilton. I thought her descriptions of southern Ohio (or was it West Virginia or northern Kentucky?) were magical, and the characters were interesting. The parts about strip-mining were ominous and probably realistic. The witchy six-fing [...]

    4. (I always thought this would be a funny book--doesn't the title sound like the title of a funny book?--but it's not, at all.)This was an interesting book and the writing was lovely, but I thought it was trying to do too many different things--I'd like it better with more focus.

    5. I've decided to read as many as I can of Virginia Hamilton's books for Black History Month 2013. Last year, I read all of Mildred Taylor's Logan family saga in chronological order rather than by publication date. That was an awesome experience! In truth, the national celebration 'for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora' just gives me a chance to read and revisit these remarkable works for young readers.So I started with M.C Hamilton's Newbery Medal w [...]

    6. I had never heard of this novel before requesting a copy with NetGalley. The synopsis intrigued me. This is the story of a boy, aged 13, who dreams of leaving his home on the mountain, who hopes his mother's incredible voice is the answer that will take him and his family far away. He has fears. Fears of the mountain sliding down, burying all in its path, including his home. It is a coming of age story too, as M.C. Higgins struggles with the inner turmoil that sits in the young, a turmoil that p [...]

    7. I knew Virginia Hamilton as a collector of folk tales (the fabulous 'The People Could Fly' and 'The Dark Way'). Aware that she had won the Newbery for 'M.C' I have meant to read it for some time, but was put off by the covers of the editions I have seen (especially the current paperback shown here). Which just goes to show you how powerful a bad cover can be, and how misleading. Because this is an amazing novel. It's not really magical realism because it is absolutely real, but everything in it [...]

    8. I read this book twice because it's just so beautiful. It is intended for young adults, but it may be too sophisticated for many readers (young or old).The main character lives on the side of a mountain that his grandmother claimed when she fled slavery. The mountain is being stripped for minerals and is threatening to collapse. But his family refuse to leave-- this home is their heritage. What else will they have?Every scene is rich with metaphor. No character is saintly (which is often the cas [...]

    9. To sum this book up in one word, I would say, "Confusing." For most of the book, I had no idea what was going on. I didn't really care, either, because I was bored, and the 40' pole was so unrealistic, I didn't even believe it was a real thing. I would not recommendM.C. Higgins, the Greatto anyone.

    10. I'm kind of conflicted about this book. I see some good in it, but I really didn't enjoy reading it, especially the first 50 pages or so. As an adult novel, it might have been decent, but I think most kids would have some trouble following the Faulkner-like steam of consciousness writing. The only thing that really makes this book a kid's book is the fact that M.C our protagonist is a teenager. M.C.'s guide to getting the girl: First stalk her a little while she's walking by herself through the [...]

    11. This is a story of a boy (M.C. HIggins) growing up on a mountain in basic isolation from anyone but his family. His mother's a great singer and "the dude" comes to maybe record her voice and take them off the mountain. Also, an *annoying* girl comes and M.C. thinks he might have a crush on her/she's a way off the mountain/whatever. But she leaves and honestly I didn't see the point to her even being in the story at all. I could not stand most of it and just didn't get the rest of it. Also-if he [...]

    12. A YA story written by an esteemed writer who lived about a half an hour from where I live now. A pleasant story about a young boy who has dreams of grandeur sitting a top a 40 foot pole. One summer two visitors intrude and give M.C. thoughts of life away from his mountain. A pleasant read.

    13. A fresh breath of air for ch lit--little dependency on plot, symbolic, beautiful, movingt hard to sell my ch lit students on.

    14. Generally, this is a really masterful children's novel. Hamilton's prose is impeccable, including her light use of vernacular (which never feels stereotyped or oversimplified). The characterization and development of setting are heartbreakingly specific and precise. Every detail is beautifully rendered, imaginative, and weighty. While I would say this book is rather light on plot, it reads far more "contemporary" than previous Newberys, with a somewhat stream-of-conscious style and a condensatio [...]

    15. Read as part of my ongoing project to read all the Newbery Medal winners. I was 10 when this book won the prize in 1975 so I must have read it at the time, but I have no memory of it. It's a lovely, naturalistic story about a 13yo boy growing up in the hill country near the Ohio River. Clean yet lyrical prose that captures the tension between childhood and adulthood. I savored it.

    16. M.C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton is about a young teenager named M.C. Higgins. M.C.’s family has lived on Sarah’s mountain for many years. There are rumors of an older man roaming around the area who has the ability to make M.C.’s mother and her gorgeous voice famous. But when M.C. spots this man and leads him to his house, the man makes M.C. aware of a huge spoil heap hanging on Sarah’s mountain right above M.C.’s house. Ever since that day, M.C. Higgins is terrified that [...]

    17. 37: 1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton (Macmillan) 6/2/13 (278 pages) M.C. lives in the mountain-woods in an area long-ago settled by his great-grandmother, Sarah, a former slave. He is responsible for his younger siblings while his mom, and his dad when possible, work. Their mountain area is being transformed by coal miners who are whittling it down to get to coal. The miners leave the remnants in a spoil which M.C. fears. A stranger, called the dude by M.C comes to record voic [...]

    18. It's a shame that this book is categorized as juvenile fiction or children's literature, because that means that a great many adults are missing out on a wonderful story. Just because the protagonist is young, I don't believe that automatically classifies a book as young adult. To Kill a Mockingbird is a good example of this.M.C. Higgins the Great is a Bildungsroman tale where one of the most prominent characters would have to be not only M.C but the mountain itself. Sarah's Mountain breathes in [...]

    19. This Newbery Award-winning book is not for everyone. Action, intense drama and humor all are absent from this slow-moving tale in which reality, daydreams, internal-dialogs and seemingly telepathic communication add up to a thought-provoking novel that probes the fear-powered mythologies people create. By examining how action is paralyzed and potentially rewarding relationships are poisoned, Hamilton helps readers understand how their own internalized narratives guide, and possibly misguide, the [...]

    20. I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.I didn't know much about this Newbery Medal (and National Book Award) winner by Virginia Hamilton except that I'd never read it, so I jumped at the chance to get the ebook from Open Road via NetGalley. Here's the blurb:Mayo Cornelius Higgins perches on top of a homemade forty-foot tower, considering two destinies. Behind him is his family’s beloved house at the foot of a mountain that strip mining has reduced [...]

    21. I observe from the reviews that a reader either loves or hates this book. I love this book, because I am a huge fan of Toni Morrison and the setting for the book reminds me of Beloved. Toni Morrison writes, of course, for a more mature audience.What draws me into the tale? There are rich descriptions of characters and the countryside. M.C Mayo Cornelius, is athletic, often brooding, and adolescent in his responses to different people in the book. Indeed, I could re-read this a couple more times [...]

    22. This was a thought-provoking read, very subtle. There isn't a lot in the way of plot; this story propels itself along from the force of its characters, particularly the young protagonist, M.C. I think preteens and younger teens can enjoy this story, but it will challenge them as well. This is one of those stories where the reader has to read between the lines, and there is a lot of symbolism. In the story, M.C. is the oldest of four children. His parents scratch out a living in the nearby towns, [...]

    23. So I should start by saying I listed to this as an audiobook, and I have a terrible attention span when it comes to audiobooks. I know I zoned out for parts of it, but I was getting really tired of skipping back to catch what I missed. The book takes place over the course of a few days in the life of M.C. Higgins, a boy living in the hills near the Ohio river. Over the course of these few days quite a bit happens. At first I thought the book was going to be about strip mining and the loss of the [...]

    24. Well, this book has a lot of high praise. The main story lines are MC's relationships with his father, his friend Ben, a girl he likes named Lurhetta, and himself, and to a lesser extent his mother as well. These are well-made, and there is some real depth to them. I really like the description of the area, the lifestyle they live, the 6-fingered 'whitchies' and peoples fear of them, and the dude that comes around. Good descriptions, good visual.However, I think the author tries too hard to be d [...]

    25. Welp, this enters that fairly slim group of Newbery winners that I just hated. The characters of M.C his family members, his friend Ben, and the two newcomers that come to Sarah's Mountain all struck me as unlikable in one way or another, and I found many of their actions and motivations to be fairly incomprehensible and bizarre (remember the time M.C. kisses and then stabs a girl he likes?). I had always incorrectly assumed that this book was about race to at least some degree, but the characte [...]

    26. M. C. Higgins loves where he lives, Sarah Mountain, a land in Ohio that has belonged to his family for a very long time. He has a huge pole with wheels on which he sits and can see the entire mountain and even beyond to the nearest town. But what he most loves about the mountain are the trees, animals, rivers, everything about nature with its own moods and beauty surpassed by nothing or no one. His Dad is very harsh with him but it's a loving harshness. But his Dad just doesn't get the message t [...]

    27. Hamilton takes us to a rough and fantastical household in Appalachia. M.C. Higgins, the Great, thirteen, is the oldest child who watches over his siblings from the top of a 40-foot pole, hunts with his hands, and rebelliously befriends a six-fingered boy whose family is considered witchy. I couldn't tell if he loved or hated his father whom his son calls Jones; they play-fight with a fierceness that made me uncomfortable. His mother tells her son, 'He's Jones. And don't you forget it.' He has hi [...]

    28. 1975 Newbery winner -author/illustrator Virginia Hamilton - Mayo Cornelius (M.C.) lives on Sarah's Mountain named for his great grandmother. He feels the need to leave the mountain because of the rubble that threatens his family's home from the strip mining. He is friends with Ben a family that seems witchy by M.C. family's standards. A man named Lewis comes to the mountain to tape record his mother's singing and M.C. thinks a recording contract will get them off the mountain. The man in the end [...]

    29. ‘”I don’t know.” M.C. signed. “…But I’m getting tired of Daddy. Tired as I can be.”“Come on,” Banina said. “We’ll miss the morning sun.” And later: “It’s not your daddy you tired of, M.C. It’s here. It’s this place. The same thing day after day is enemy to a growing boy.”And all the ghosts, M.C. thought. All of the old ones.’M.C. lives on the side of a mountain, just like his father before him and his grandmother before him. But all that must come to an end. [...]

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