ningerbil (ningerbil) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 15- M.C. Higgins, the Great, by Virginia Hamilton

15. M.C. Higgins, the Great, by Virginia Hamilton. 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, living within the mountains on property that belonged to M.C.'s great-grandmother, a runaway slave. M.C. often sits atop a 40-foot poll, where he can observe his family, his home and the beauty of the mountains. But he also sees the destruction of the strip-mining, which is slowly killing the wildlife around them and making it harder to get by. He also sees a pile of rubble that could avalanche and swamp their home. M.C. tries to convince his stern father that the family must move, but his father has deep roots to the land. One day, from on top of his poll, M.C. sees two strangers, one with a recorder and the power to bring M.C.'s mother fame through her singing, and a young woman who capture's M.C.'s heart. The ending is best described as open to interpretation; it's neither happy nor sad (more on the bittersweet side). Whether M.C's actions at the end are a reflection of his efforts to fight for his heritage, or whether it shows the futility of his situation can be debated. As I said, this is a deceptively challenging book.

Currently reading: Tevye's Daughters, by Sholom Aleichem and The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro.
Tags: fiction, young adult

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