M.C. Higgins, the Great

M.C. Higgins, the Great



Winner of a Newbery Medal, a National Book Award, named an ALA Notable Book, designated as a School Library Journal Best of the Best, and named one of the New York Times Outstanding Children’s Books of the Year, this intense, complex, young adult novel has dazzled readers for over 20 years.

Written by celebrated author Virginia Hamilton, this is the story of M.C. Higgins, a young boy who lives with his family near Sarah’s Mountain, who must come to terms with who he is and what he wants in life. When M.C.’s great-grandmother escaped from slavery long ago, she came to the mountain and made it her home. And now, it’s M.C.’s home, but not for long. As Mayo Cornelius Higgins sits on his gleaming, forty-foot steel pole, towering over his home on Sarah’s Mountain, he sees, stretched before him, 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.

M.C. dreams of escape for himself and his family. And, one day, atop his pole, he thinks he sees it – two strangers are making their way toward Sarah’s Mountain. One has the ability to make M.C.’s mother famous. And the other has the kind of freedom that M.C. has never even dreamed of. When the two mysterious strangers appear, M.C. finally learns how to save himself and his family.

The author has created characters, powerful and poignant, and the story they share is sure to leave an indelible mark on any reader’s mind. Hamilton’s descriptions of family relationships and loyalties are outstanding, as well. Though it is not an easy read, because it deals with painful issues and explores them all deeply and powerfully, this absorbing read will leave readers in awe.

About the Author

The recipient of nearly every major award and honor in her field, including the 1992 Hans Christian Andersen Award, Virgina Hamilton was the first African American woman to be awarded the Newbery Medal, for M.C. Higgins, the Great. Renowned as a storyteller, anthologist, and lecturer as well as a novelist, Ms. Hamilton makes her home in Yellow Springs, Ohio.


1975 John Newbery Medal
1975 National Book Award for Children’s Books
Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction
An ALA Notable Book

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