M.C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton

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Hamilton’s classic coming-of-age tale: The National Book Award– and Newbery Award–winning novel about a young man who must choose between supporting his tight-knit family and pursuing his own dreams

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 to loose rubble. In front of him, the beautiful Ohio River Valley and the great world beyond. As M.C. weighs whether to stay with the family and home he loves or set off into the world on his own, there appear on the horizon two strangers who will make his decision all the more difficult.

About Virginia Hamilton

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Virginia Hamilton was born March 12, 1936 and raised in Yellow Springs, OH, which is said to be a station on the Underground Railroad. Her grandfather settled in the village after escaping slavery in Virginia. Hamilton received a scholarship to Antioch College, and then went on to the Ohio State University at Columbus and the New School for Social Research in New York. She published Zeely, her first book for children, in 1967. Virginia was the first African American woman to win the Newbery Award, for M.C. Higgins the Great. Since then, she has won three Newbery Honors and three Coretta Scott King Awards, as well as an Edgar Allan Poe Award, and was the first children's author to receive a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant in 1995. She also received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1995. This award honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial or lasting contribution to children's literature. In 1992, Virginia was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, which is presented every two years by the International Board on Books for Young People, in recognition of her entire body of work, and is considered the most prestigious international award in children's literature. Virginia Hamilton passed away in Dayton, Ohio on February 19, 2002 at the age of 85 from breast cancer. She had written over 35 books, some of her most popular include The People Could Fly; The Planet of Junior Brown; M.C. Higgins, the Great; Bluish; Cousins; and the Dies Drear Chronicles.
Published February 15, 2011 by Open Road Media Teen & Tween. 292 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

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Also arriving with (but not traveling with) the Dude, however, is a lonely but independent girl named Lurhetta, who shakes up M.C.'s confidence, indirectly needles him to rethink his connection with the land and the coming disaster, and shames him into venturing onto the mound of the shunned, "wi...

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Higgins loves where he lives, Sarah Mountain, a land in Ohio that has belonged to his family for a very long time.

Feb 17 2012 | Read Full Review of M.C. Higgins, the Great

Project MUSE

Virginia Hamilton's style is mesmerizing, a combination of such poetic expressions as the description of a sunrise as "a brilliant gash ripped across the summit of Hall Mountain" and of such quaint mountain expressions as the remark Banina, M.

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