M. C. Higgins, the Great

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M. C. Higgins, the Great
Higgins cover-jpg.jpg
Cover of 25th anniversary edition
Author Virginia Hamilton
Cover artist Leo and Diane Dillon
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Simon Pulse
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover & paperback)
Pages 278 pp
ISBN 0-241-89214-7
OCLC 312852502
LC Class PZ7.H1828 Mac

M. C. Higgins, the Great (1974) is a realistic novel by Virginia Hamilton that won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1975. It also won the National Book Award in category Children's Books[1] and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; it was the first book to do so, and only one other book has done so since (Holes, by Louis Sachar).

M.C. Higgins is a coming-of-age novel; it covers three eventful days in the life of teenager Mayo Cornelius Higgins. Its setting is in the Appalachian mountains on Sarah's Mountain, a fictional mountain in Kentucky near the Ohio River that is being encroached upon by a mining company. The book highlights the strange, almost surreal customs of the hill people, including their traditions of song and superstition. At its core is the reconciliation M.C. must make between tradition and change.

It has been translated into many languages, including Japanese and German, and was made into a movie in 1987.[citation needed]


Preceded by
The Slave Dancer
Newbery Medal recipient
Succeeded by
The Grey King