M.C. Higgins the Great

M.C. Higgins the Great

Illustrated by: John Jude Palencar
For Ages: 9 - 12
  • 10
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 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.
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689830747 | 
  • September 1999 | 
  • Grades 4 - 7 | 
  • Lexile ® 560L
List Price $19.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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About the Author

Virginia Hamilton

The recipient of nearly every major award and honor in her field, including the 1992 Hans Christian Anderson 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.

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