READ µ MC Higgins the Great

Virginia Hamilton á 1 READ

READ µ MC Higgins the Great ↠ Mayo Cornelius Higgins sits on his gleaming forty foot steel pole towering over his home on Sarah's Mountain Stretched before him are rolling hills and shady valleys But behind him lie the wounds of strip mining including a mountain of rubble that may one day fall and bury his home MC dreams of escape for himself and his fThe wounds of strip mining including a mountain of rubble that may one day fall and bury his home MC dreams of escape for himself and his family And one day atop his pole he thinks he. 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 'MC' 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 feels mystical The characters are drawn in visceral detail some down to their six fingered hands and feet but they remain mysterious It's the coming of age story of Mayo Cornelius Higgins who suffers under the weight of a slag heap which looms over his Ohio backcountry home teetering on a mountainside that looks out on beautiful wilderness one way and a strip mined hell on the other and the pressures of his domineering father and vibrantly alive mother It's a very particular and peculiar story about an unusually isolated African American family that is wholly universal Highly recommended


Sees it two strangers are making their way toward Sarah's Mountain One has the ability to make MC's mother famous And the other has the kind of freedom that MC has never even consider. 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 recommend MC Higgins the Great to anyone

SUMMARY MC Higgins the Great

MC Higgins the GreatMayo Cornelius Higgins sits on his gleaming forty foot steel pole towering over his home on Sarah's Mountain Stretched before him are rolling hills and shady valleys But behind him lie. 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 aloneIt took me most of the week to get MC 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 MC but in such a different package from than what Cleary and Patterson deliveredAlthough I have a few uestions for the committee that chose this book I can see why it might have drifted to the top of the top of the list in 1975 I have the desire to discuss this book for hours and days with other readers I wish to discover what they found that I missed and to share the juicy nuggets that I found so delectable And to bang my head with others who may have also found it frustratingly slow and tediousHamilton creates such fully realized characters that I was left knowing what MC’s Jones’ or Ben’s reactions would be if placed in an entirely different place and time Hamilton never tells us what we should think of MC instead she shows us a character that is arrogant and dependable misogynistic and protective bigoted and loyal We only see him where he reigns supreme in the small nucleus of his world on the mountain We know that he leaves the mountain to go town during the school year but we never see him out of his element until he visits the Killburn commune where suddenly his footing his dignity and his very perceptions are shaken Can I just interject that I loved watching Ben swagger while he was on his home turf MC’s desire to get off the mountain is at odds with his naïve comprehension of the world at largeInterspersed between MC’s coming of age arc is a story of relationships As with the other aspects of this book these are exuisitely honed My favorite is MCs relationships with both his parents I found a profound honesty that I’ve discovered in my life Children have one relationship with their parents when presented as a united entity and completely different relationship with them individually The combativeness he has with his father is at odds with the camaraderie he shares his mother but the authority of who leads the family remains intact Hamilton creates such a dense sense of setting that if I were to take a wrong turn some night driving through the Ohio River Valley and stumbled on Sarah’s Mountain I would be no lost than The Dude Granted I would be plenty disoriented but able to recognize major landmarks particularly that odd pole poking up from the crest of the mountainIt feels like the essence of this story could be distilled down to a few drops of rich broth Circumstances don’t need to determine destiny Fresh eyes may be reuired to expose bigotry Family is both stifling and expanding Roots anchor but also encumberHamilton’s stylistic language is gorgeous I wished than once that I could hear this read aloud I wanted the cadence to go with the uniue verbiage I was also intrigued by the fact that Virginia Hamilton was the first African American to be awarded the Newbery medal But unlike Roll of Thunder I didn’t feel like this was a novel about the American Black experience It was a novel where the characters happened to be of color Their story extended beyond race We are still in short supply of books of this ilk today I did find myself frustrated in what I didn’t know I wanted to know the broader racial makeup of the nearby communities Was the town mostly white Where the mountain folks mostly of color What was the race of The Dude How did a runaway slave find the resources to “own” a mountain The answers are not important to MC’s story and I think Hamilton trusts her reader to infer most of these answers I can be just a bit denser than the average readerMC Higgins the Great is a title that stretches the Newbery caveat “a book for which children are an intended potential audience” to its narrowest limit I keep thinking that if I were to recommend this book to one of my students the ensuing head scratching would result in serious hair loss Because of its subtlety I also believe pushes the upper age range I’ve chosen this year to read my honor’s books from I have read The Perilous Guard many times and am eager to see what the others have to offer I figured out that I was eleven when these awards were announced I secretly think of this age as the prime Newbery target I would never have been ready for MC when it came out