Magic Maize
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Magic Maize

2.6 of 5 stars 2.60  ·  rating details  ·  10 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Hardcover, 76 pages
Published December 1st 1953 by Houghton Mifflin (first published June 1953)
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Read it because it won the Newbery Honor. This was written in an era when crop "improvement" meant introducing varieties with higher yield. It reads a little like an ad for Monsanto and GMO foods. How could replacing heirloom varieties with new and improved high yield, bug resilience corn be anything but a wonderful thing? (Okay, I added in bug resilience--that one's not mentioned in the book) Nowadays the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction--there's a increased interest in protecting h...more
Summary: It is the story of Fabian, a Mayan Indian boy, who uncovers a rare jade earplug while secretly planting "magic maize." The earplug and maize lead to adventures so unusual that even Fabian's stubborn father is convinced that the old and new can live in peace.

My thoughts: As I am going through all of the Newbery awards and honors, I found this a quick read. Not very memorable, nothing stood out in particular. However, it wasn't tedious or torturous to get through, as I've been finding som...more
Cute parts here and there but mostly dull. Like so many books from this time, the supposedly sympathetic depiction of a “different” culture is undermined by not-so-latent attitudes of prejudice and white superiority.
Cheryl in CC NV
Thrift store find. About 1/3 in and not detecting any disrespect/ political incorrectness. I guess I'll have to hang on to it until the Children's Book Club Newbery Honors groups catches up to 1954.
The book is a bit dated and probably wouldn't fly today by anyone's standards of properly representing another culture, but it was okay.
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