Friday, March 28, 2014

Miracles on Maple Hill

In lieu of Perfect Picture Book Friday, here is a Middle Grade classic.

Cover art by Kevin Hawkes
Miracles on Maple Hill
Written by Virginia Sorensen
Harcourt, 1956
Fiction, ages 10 and up
180 pages

Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1957, Miracles on Maple Hill is a family feel-good novel. It tells the story of Marly, whose family is falling apart when her dad returns from the service with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Marly and her brother learn to adapt to their new surroundings over the backdrop of sugaring season, with the help of their unusual community of neighbors.

Although I love the more recent cover by Kevin Hawkes, the original illustrators were kidlit legends Beth and Joe Krush.

1. Read other Newbery novels at ALA.
2. Learn more about maple syrup or visit a farm like Madava to watch the process first-hand.
3. Prepare some scratch pancakes and order authentic syrup from Paul Bunyan's Sugar Camp to celebrate the season.
4. Explore the stresses faced by veterans. Visit a VA hospital or organize a service project. Support our troops, and give them your gratitude.
5. Visit a modern farm or petting zoo complete with baby goats.
6. I highly recommend the Full-Cast Audio edition for long car trips.
7. Visit the author's birthplace and exhibit at the Hurry Hill Maple Farm Museum.
8. If you enjoyed this book, here are a few more you might enjoy about Sugaring from Naturally Educational. Or try these favorites.

YA about PTSD
strong sense of place
PB legend
PB classic on farm life
By the same author

Perfect Picture Book Friday will return on April 4, 2014. Please hop to Susanna Leonard Hill's blog to read the finalists for the March Madness Fractured fairy tale contest or check last Thursday's post for my entry, Goldie and the Three Squirrels. Voting begins today.

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