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Miss Hickory

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  1,966 ratings  ·  139 reviews
A Newbery Award winner!

Most dolls lead a comfortable but unadventurous life. This was true of Miss Hickory until the fateful day that her owner, Ann, moves from her New Hampshire home to attend school in Boston—leaving Miss Hickory behind. For a small doll whose body is an apple-wood twig and whose head is a hickory nut, the prospect of spending a New Hampshire winter alo
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 26th 1977 by Puffin (first published January 1st 1946)
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The Giver by Lois LowryHoles by Louis SacharA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Most Deserving Newbery
76th out of 95 books — 2,160 voters
The Giver by Lois LowryA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleHoles by Louis SacharNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Newbery Medal Winner Books
61st out of 93 books — 255 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,975)
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Jen
I've learned my lesson. When the Newbery girls all say a book is weird and I, after 50 pages or so, disagree with them and privately think they're getting just a bit too picky with these old children's books, I really should just keep my thoughts to myself until I actually finish the book.

Because ending the book by having your main character's (view spoiler) -- EVEN IF she was just a little doll made out of a twig -- is a really bad idea. Really, REALLY
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Amy
Miss Hickory was my favorite children's novel when I first read it as a girl, and reading it again now...now I remember why I loved it so much. Miss Hickory is an outdoor story, a talking animal tale that makes exquisite sense of the natural magic that brings the twig-bodied, acorn-headed doll to life.

The animals in the story are both confounded and drawn to the fiesty no-nonsense Miss Hickory. They learn from her as much as she learns from them, sometimes acts of friendship, sometimes dangerous
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Linda Lipko
In this 1947 Newbery Medal award winning book, Miss Hickory is indeed a hard nut to crack. She is a stick figure doll composed of a fork-like twiggy body and a hickory nut for a noggin. Her humble, but clean, abode is made of corncobs nestled beneath a lilac bush.

Miss Hickory is deemed alive by the family who made her and the forest animals who befriend her.

When the family temporarily moves from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, Miss Hickory is left behind to fend for herself in the bitter cold wi
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Cheryl
I revisited this childhood favorite because it reminds me of Hitty: Her First Hundred Years which was a recent group read. I enjoyed both of these, and The Borrowers series, more than once. Wouldn't it be nifty to wear lady-slippers, and sleep in a bird's nest, and use a needle as a sword, etc.?

These books are holding up well - I'm 4 decades older and I still enjoy them. In a way they're almost like science-fiction, in that they explore what it means to be a not-quite-human Person. This one is
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Tracy
I liked this book until the end. The book is episodic, rather than having one main storyline. Miss Hickory is a twig doll with a nut for a head, and she is indeed hard-headed. When the people in the Big House go away for the winter without taking her along, Miss Hickory must brave the winter by herself. I liked the cozy domesticity of her cleaning and preparing food stores and making her own clothes. She is rather sharp with her fellow forest dwellers, however, and this ultimately leads to her r ...more
Mary
A lot of reviewers found the story too weird... but that's it's charm in my opinion. Lot's of great stories are weird, just ask the Grimm Brothers. I loved Miss Hickory. She is a cranky, insecure nut who eventually finds her way, and that's a character I can relate to. I loved that she is mean... how refreshing and real! The weirdest part for me was the strange religious chapter in the middle of the book that seemed out of place and a bit heavy-handed, but I skipped it, since it irritated me. T ...more
Becky H.
Jun 21, 2008 Becky H. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages 8 and up
Her body is made out of an apple wood twig and her head is a hickory nut, however, Miss Hickory was no doll: she was a person. Join Miss Hickory as she learns to trust her friends Crow, Squirrel and Mr. T. William-Brown, the cat who help her find a new home and survive through winter. Along the way she helps others too. With her help Hen-Pheasant starts the Ladies Aid Society for pheasants during the winter and Ground Hog, who is afraid of his shadow, comes out of his hole so spring will arrive. ...more
Antof9
So here's what I wrote as a status update in about the middle of the book:
Here's my take at halfway through: check out Rabbit Hill instead (if you're looking for personification of woodland creatures and want to stay in the Newbery family). I don't know what's up with this one, and it's probably not fair that it's just 2 years after Rabbit Hill, but it's falling short and awfully weird.


... and I don't have much else to say.

I appreciated what the author tried to do with Christmas, but honestly? T
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Danielle
Mar 27, 2008 Danielle rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill
Sep 15, 2010 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: read aloud to kids age 4+
Shelves: newbery-medal
Didn't think I'd be saying this, but I really enjoyed this book! In part it's because the book takes place in New Hampshire very close to where Dan grew up. I think this would be an excellent book to read to a four or five year old and I'm already looking forward to Holly being old enough to understand the story. Carolyn Bailey explains the real behavior of different animals through lovable characters. At first I thought the writing was a little old-fashioned and stodgy, but the more I read the ...more
Monica Job
Miss Hickory is a doll made from a forked twig from an apple tree and a hickory nut for a head. She lives in a tiny doll house made of corncobs outside her human owners home, but her world is turned upside down after the family decides to spend the winter in Boston leaveing her behind. Miss Hickory is aided during the long cold winter by farm and forest animals. A little stubborn, she slowly learns to accept help from others, and to offer some assistance herself. I would use this book in the cl ...more
Writemom
One of my favorite Newberry books!
Kathi
Quaint, strange, nature-appreciative, symbolic (?)...these are my descriptors for the 1947 Newbery winner "Miss Hickory."

Opinionated, prickly, at times ungrateful, but also brave, creative, nature-loving, at times helpful are adjectives that describe the strong character of Miss Hickory herself. She grows well throughout the short book.

The last two chapters are, in turn, startling and quietly majestic.

I'm glad I read "Miss Hickory." I'm also glad much of Children's Literature has improved gre
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Bunny
Do you know how many forms of "doll with a nut head" I googled before I found the title of this?

I don't know how I got my hands on the book originally, but I loved this as a child. Despite the other reviews below, I was not disturbed by the ending, I thought it was actually quite nice. But I was a morbid child, so that might explain things.

Loved it. Wanted to live in a bird's nest. Wish I still owned it.
Barbara VA
A charming little book that I remember having read to us in elementary school. I love the nature stories and a doll made from apple branches (MacIntosh - my favorite apple) and a hickory nut living in a corncob house. In Germany, I bought my daughter dolls made from apples and plums dressed with faces and hats- very popular. The animals and flowers and views were described so perfectly!
Wendy
I was hoping this would be as good as HITTY (it's also from a doll's point of view), but it wasn't... in fact, it was basically what I always thought HITTY would be... cheesy. And the illustrations are sort of creepy. Okay, but it's ALMOST worth reading the whole thing (it's pretty short) for the totally bizarre ending.
Kayley
Miss Hickory is a charming little book! It was my absolute favorite when I was younger, I loved how she made her little clothes and her funny manner! I was only six when I read it and I told everyone I knew about it. Excellent and charming! Perfect for imaginative little readers who are just starting out!
Carl Nelson
1947 Newbery Medal recipient.

In the category of "Newbery Winners Featuring Anthropomorphized Animals of the 1940s," "Rabbit Hill" is the clear winner. And that is damning with faint praise, because "Miss Hickory" is utterly repugnant. Just awful. Really dumb stories of animals acting stupidly, surpassed only by the busybodying moronity of the title character. And don't get me started on the end--well, let's just say that in novel writing class, I'm pretty sure that this possibly drug trip inspir
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Eston
This is such a sweet book from a more wholesome time. It is not flashy and worldly. It is simply a nut-twig doll living under lilac bushes and in a nest. I think it would be an appropriate read aloud for first or second graders.
Wendi
This book is one of my all tim favorites! I read it a long time ago, but it is great. It shows personification of a doll who is trying to survive a harsh winter. This book won the Newberry Award in 1947.
Andrea
Miss Hickory is a prim and proper little doll with a twig body and a hickory nut head. Her whole world is turned upside down when the family at the Old Place leaves for the winter and Chipmunk moves into her corncob house. Her adventures to find a safe place for winter and what she does after that make up the majority of the book. This was a longer read than I was expecting, but still pretty fun. The cast of animal characters allowed me to exercise my repertoire of silly voices. Overall, I think ...more
Donna Sandidge
You'll never look at an acorn quite the same way again!
Lagushka
One of the WORST books I've ever read.
Cassie Wicks
My girls absolutely adored this book. Yes, some have reviewed it as "weird", but I am one that enjoys things just a bit off the beaten path and on the quirky side.

Unfortunately, because they loved it so much, they were completely traumatized by Miss Hickory's [spoiler alert] seemingly untimely demise and were sobbing and sobbing during that chapter. My oldest (age 9) even declared, with tears in her eyes, "I don't like squirrels anymore!".

Although I enjoyed the ending, I feel like it might be
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Deirdre Benavides
I read this book in the third grade and adored it, and re-reading it as an adult reminded me of just how fantastic it is.

For children, the book may be a bit daunting, as the characters are pretty allegorical. (A challenging read, but a good one. Lots of vocabulary words, too!) If reading this with a child, I would recommend discussing the book in between chapters for clarity and depth. Quite honestly, I think the reason a lot of people dislike the book because they miss the end point.

This isn't
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Qnpoohbear

Miss Hickory is a doll, no a real living person, made up of an applewood twig and a hickory nut head. She has always lived in the corn cob house under the lilac bushes or on the windowsill of an old farm house. Now the family has gone to live in Boston. Winter is approaching and Miss Hickory finds herself homeless. What is a she going to do? With the help of an unexpected friend, she not only finds a new home, but learns how not to have a hard head and appreciate her surroundings more. This Newb
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Laura
Miss Hickory cannot believe the news Crow has just been telling her. Great granny Brown is closing up her house for the winter and moving to Boston! But this means that Miss Hickory will have to move out of her lovely corncob house and find a new home! She is scared, but with the help of her friends she finds a new house.

Will Miss Hickory survive the winter? And will she come to like her new home better?

Discussion.

When we first meet Miss Hickory, she is persnickety and snobby. She is distressed
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Laura
Jun 11, 2012 Laura added it
Shelves: 2012, children-s, newbery
What a weird, strange book! Initially, I liked the idea of a small woodland woman, made of an apple tree twig with a hickory nut for a face. A dated idea, yes, but charming nonetheless. But each of Miss Hickory's adventures got a bit stranger and she just never seemed to learn how to be a nicer person.

The first part of the book didn't seem too strange -- Miss Hickory finds a new place to live, helps hen-pheasants create a Ladies Aid Society, and designs some delightful new winter clothing. But
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Gale
A RETURN TO WOODSY INNOCENCE

Just because some folks don't resemble human two-leggers and only have a hickory nut for a head doesn't mean they aren't real people all the same! Miss Hickory, a doll-like plaything belonging to Ann of the Old Place, maintains her dignity and self-respect during a long New Hampshire Winter. Shocked by the news that the Brown family has moved to Boston until late Spring, Miss Hickory relies on her woodland companions and her own ingenuity to survive without her cornc
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Debbie
Dec 30, 2013 Debbie added it
62 1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (Viking)

7/24/13 123 pages (2 per minute)

Miss Hickory is a doll with a hickory nut head and an apple branch body. When her owner leaves for the winter, she must make it on her own in the outdoors. Her acquaintances include a cat, a crow, a squirrel and a cow. They are sometimes fearful to her and I think the book could be scary for younger children. In addition, SPOILER, the squirrel EATS HER HEAD in the end. That was disturbing to me. Then she beco
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