Setting

The story begins in the early 1960s in an isolated mountainous area near the Ohio River, where coal and steel are the major industries. The...

(The entire section is 309 words.)

Literary Qualities

Hamilton's writing tends to be poetic and descriptive, detailing landscape, clothing, and facial expressions. As in all good writing, the...

(The entire section is 556 words.)

Social Sensitivity

M.C. Higgins, the Great deals with three issues that parents or teachers may want to discuss with their children: pollution,...

(The entire section is 422 words.)

Bibliography

(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

Giovanni, Nikki. Review of M. C. Higgins, the Great. The New York Times Book Review, September 22, 1974, 8. Summarizes the plot in a breezy style and then settles down to an analysis of Hamilton’s appeal, which the reviewer attributes to her realism, her characterization, and her uniting “the forces of hope with the forces of dreams.” A brief but perceptive article.

Hamilton, Virginia. “The Mind of a Novel: The Heart of the Book.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 8 (Winter, 1983): 10-14. Discusses novels published after M. C. Higgins, the Great, emphasizing persistent themes in all of Hamilton’s...

(The entire section is 315 words.)

Topics for Discussion

1. M.C., Ben, and Lurhetta have taken a rabbit from one of M.C.'s traps when Lurhetta asks to visit Kill's Mound. They leave the rabbit, and...

(The entire section is 226 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. Although much of M.C. Higgins, the Great is realistic and believable, there are supernatural elements as well—for example, M.C.'s...

(The entire section is 234 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

Hamilton's first novel, Zeely, features a girl who, like M.C., must cope with the transition to adulthood. In The Planet of Junior...

(The entire section is 142 words.)

For Further Reference

Block, Ann, and Carolyn Riley, eds. Children's Literature Review. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1976. Contains excerpts from...

(The entire section is 205 words.)