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Miracles on Maple Hill

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  5,395 ratings  ·  276 reviews
Marly and her family share many adventures when they move from the city to a farmhouse on Maple Hill. Her father is recovering from being a prisoner-of-war. The small town and the varied happenings and activities of country life help them to recover from past unhappiness, and bond more closely as a family.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1956)
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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
70th out of 93 books — 2,128 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
52nd out of 93 books — 251 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
This is the kind of book I was afraid I was in for when I decided to read the Newbery books. The truth is that it was and it wasn’t. A white family, looking at the world, saying, “Oh gosh,” and “Oh golly,” facing issues like the son staying out too late and wondering where he is, facing how to get the big maple sugar crop in before it ruins, and lots and lots of “You can’t do that; you’re a girl.”

But it was also more. Dad was thought killed after time in a war camp, but he returns home, safe but...more
Linda Lipko
This 1957 Newbery medal winner is a delightful, slow walk into a time when old fashioned values were the norm -- a time when children were polite; a time when children respected parents; a time when neighbors helped one another; a time when there was less focus on "me" and more focus on "us".

Yet, the book is timeless in addressing issues that are still with us today. Marly's father returns from the war, while the specific war isn't mentioned, one can assume WWII. Marly's father was a POW and is...more
Toni Pilcher
I am not at all surprised that this book won the Newbery Medal in 1957: besides having a pleasant pastoral narrative and lyrical dialogue, Miracles has an engaging, young, at times naive main character. Marly is most admirable in her search for miracles and especially in her discovery that she can create her own miracles. I rejoiced along with her when the sap first rose in the trees and when "the twigs turned to lace" and when her daddy started feeling better after everything that had happened...more
Audrey
May 23, 2014 Audrey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of *Gone-away Lake* or *Return to Gone-away*. This book reminded me a bit of those.
What I loved most about this book were descriptions of the wild, wonderful natural world. The author is gifted in describing things in a way that made me feel like I was seeing them for the first time. Although the plot is quite simple, it really stirred me how the family is revitalized by their connection to the goodness of people and the beauty and wonder of nature. The outdoor adventures that Marly and her brother had also reminded me a lot of my own childhood. Joe was a bit of a brat sometim...more
Jeff
A wonderful piece of nostalgia about a girl seeking a few miracles from living in the country. Interesting story.
Ann Carpenter
This book gets an extra star because it is exactly the sort of book that I would have loved as a child, and therefore it hits me in the nostalgia spot, even though I've never read it before.

This was a mostly quiet book without any sort of action, and no real plot. It is, instead, a loving look at living in the countryside in the middle of the century, and adapting to a life lived out of doors and away from the city.

The beginning of the book dealt with the father's PTSD (although it is never cal...more
Aura
We had an hour to spare in the evening, and this very old Newbery (1956!) has been lying around for some time a la the sister unit, so we read it in one sitting and promptly went to bed. That is not a reflection on the quality of the book, necessarily. We have been tired. But this is the kind of book after which you can rest peacefully in bed, which recently we have been considering a good thing.

So are we going to talk about the plot? Well.

We're not sure what the plot is, exactly. We could sta...more
Kathy
Reading this book was like a favourite blanket in winter or a comfort, pick-me-up food like chocolate or a baked pudding with cream yet deeper and more meaningful than that.

This book made me happy. It took me into a world of beauty, harmony and kindness, yet with real people and characters. The writer's style was easy to read yet steeped in fully sensory-loaded descriptions. Funny, very real happenings of the main child character took us on a great adventure to warm the heart.

On top of it, we le...more
Cheryl
A lovely paen to the power of nature, neighbors, and hard work. Probably boring to today's children. Also, unfortunately, irrelevant to most of us who don't get a chance to go sugaring or to learn the different names of so many wildflowers. And the mom's character is unappealing - she works too hard in the kitchen, and wants Marly to do the same, but doesn't seem happy or even smart. I do recommend the book, though, if only for bits like this:

"... the whole feel of school can be in the sound of...more
Emily
This book is in my small collection of paperbacks saved from my Elementary school days. It was a wonderful New Year's book to pick up and read.

The author captures life from the perspective of children so vividly. It made me stop and look at my own everyday tasks and surroundings differently. The miracles of this book are simple. The types of miracles we can all see in our lives if we stop to look: the blooming of a flower, harvesting a garden, laughter filling the house, the feeling of pride af...more
AnnieM
This may make it on to my all time favorite list. Written over fifty years ago it could have been written yesterday. The message and lessons are just as true today as they were in 1956.

The audio done in full cast was perfectly cast and recorded. It moved seamlessly from one character to another.

While on my mission to read all the Newbery winners, I have experienced some really painful books, but also some gems. This one is one of the few gems.

I hope everyone gives this one a try. Books like t...more
Kathi
There is lots about Miracles on Maple Hill to love: the primary focus on family, the charitable helping of neighbors, the detailed appreciation of nature and the change of seasons, the interesting process of making maple syrup, and the realization that miracles happen constantly in our lives.

There are negatives, too: Marly’s girls-aren’t-as-good words and actions and her father’s seemingly too-quick healing from his prisoner-of-war injuries.

I can forgive the negatives, however, because this New...more
Gale
“The Sugar Camp Cure”

It’s the mid 1950’s and Marly is excited about spending the summer at Maple Hill—a place she has long heard about from her mother. The family will take off from Pittsburgh and its bustling metropolitan lifestyle to enjoy a leisurely time on the old, long-abandoned homestead. At ten Marly is eager to see everything with her own yes--everything she has seen only in her mind’s eye—thanks to Mother’s reminiscences. But Daddy, returning from the war (Korean?) is sick both in mind...more
Julie Nell
I read this book to my two-year-old and my four-year-old. My 12-year-old read it on her own and enjoyed it too. It's a beautiful book about the beauty and healing power of nature and of love. It is told through the eyes of a young girl, whose family leaves the city for a year on a farm on Maple Hill. We also learned how maple syrup is made and now my 4-year-old won't accept the cheap imitation syrup on his pancakes.
Leslie
Such a sweet, moving story about a little girl named Marley and how her family goes through the process of helping her father get over the effects of being a POW in the war (WWII). They move out into the country (Pennsylvania) to the house Marley's grandmother lived in and slowly their family is brought back together.

I loved this book and can't wait to share it with my 9 yr old daughter.
Jenny
AFter my 3rd time reading this is still my new favorite book-because I love the little girls perception of going from city life to counrty life. I consider it a classic. I just love it! It's so refreshing to read! Because I would love to live like this family and make my own maple syrup!
Kristine
MIRACLES ON MAPLE HILL by Virginia Sorensen was published in 1956 and received the Newbery Award, the gold sticker prominently gracing the front cover of the paperback I read.

Yet, as much as I respect the award, I found myself feeling disappointed that this particular book is not standing the test of time. Of course, I cannot know if I would have had a more positive reaction had I read it when it first appeared many decades ago. But, as an early 21st century reader, I was underwhelmed.

To begi...more
Amanda
This book glows with nostalgia of the forties and fifties. It makes me think of White Chistmas, and Vermont, and hot chocolate, and red schoolhouses, and cozy fireplaces. This Newberry winner is a sweet, escapist read that children will enjoy for generations.
June
Aug 26, 2012 June added it
This is a great classic for anyone to read about the process of making maple syrup, and in the process of farming as well - finding healing for the PTSD war veteran. It addresses all the little miracle that occur in nature as well as the healing of the spirit.
Laura
This easily could have been yet another saccharine 1950s children's book about a good little girl and her happy family leaving the city to live in the woods. It had that style of writing and those types of characters...except for one person who made this story stand out among the cookie-cutter books of this era.
Marly's dad is a recently returned POW suffering from (in today's terms) PTSD. While Sorenson doesn't dwell on it, the undertone makes this sweet story a noteworthy one. I have no doubt...more
Henry Martin
It is not often that I review children's books, but this one definitely deserves the attention.

Written in a simple, yet eloquent prose, this is a heartwarming story of overcoming life's challenges, of bonding, of staying together, and of the power of nature to heal the human heart.

Sorensen wrote a timeless novel aimed at middle grade children, yet this story is much more and will be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.

What a refreshing read. Through her writing, Sorenses made me long fo...more
D.C.
One of the more snooze-worthy entries in the Newbery canon. It's a VERY old-fashioned story; so old-fashioned in fact that I couldn't help but hear the character's voices in crackled Brady Bunch or Gilligan's Island tones. It's just that slow-moving and just that old-fashioned. The details of nature on the hill were nice, but got flowery and sappy at times (both of those adjectives correspond to two very important nouns used throughout the book). The resounding premise is "don't let anything dra...more
Brandi
Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1957, but with a truly timeless feel to it. Similar to the best of Laura Ingalls Wilder, though I think even better.
Debbie
Dec 30, 2013 Debbie added it
52 1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (Harcourt) (checked out)

7/10/13 (232 pages)

As the book opens, Mary, age 10, and her family are on their way from the city to the home where her grandmother, mom, and uncle once lived in the Pennsylvania countryside. Her dad has come home after being a prisoner of war and is suffering the effects of his experience and the family hopes that country living will be good for him. When they go back to the city for school, their dad stays and fixes t...more
Michelle
Loved it! I love the writing style, and all the detail. It really made me feel the "magic". This is one I want to read aloud to my kids.
Ann
I'm reading all the Newbery winner books to my daughters as part of their homeschooling curriculum. ("Miracles on Maple Hill" was a 1957 Newbery winner.)

We all enjoyed this book since there were so many references to nature, farming, and homesteading.

There's a sense of innocence in the young characters which is so refreshing; and tales of adventures and suspense sprinkled throughout the book which my daughters especially enjoyed.

The themes of friendship (especially intergenerational friendship...more
jimtown
Taking into consideration that this is a children's book, it was a very gentle telling of the art of maple syruping through the seasons on Maple Hill. I knew of almost every wildflower and also follow nature in a similar way. The added bonus to this story is that going to Maple Hill helps Marly's father recover from war.

We follow Marly, 10, Joe, 12 and their parents up to Marly's grandmother's now abandoned farm early in spring. So early, they get stuck going up the hill and need help. The chil...more
Wayne S.
Ten-year-old Marley lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her father Dale, mother Lee, and twelve-year-old brother Joe. Her dad has come home from having been a prisoner during the war, but he’s not the same. He’s moody and tired and seems as cold and dead as the winter outside. So the family decides to spend the spring and summer at Maple Hill Farm, the old place where Marley’s great-grandmother had lived and where Marley’s mother used to visit as a child, up in the corner of Pennsylvania’s countryside...more
Judy
Sep 13, 2010 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: chilren 8-12, read aloud parents
Miracles on Maple Hill won the Newbery Award in 1957. It is a lovely story with a fast pace, believable characters and conveys much truth. I found it unique among the Newbery winners I have read so far because the loveliness is not cloying and the truths are nicely incorporated into the story, never coming across as "lessons." Virginia Sorenson is an extremely fine writer. Best of all, I was not bored once while reading it.

Marly is an exuberant and perceptive young girl with an annoying older b...more
Janhmmn
I bought Miracles on Maple Hill years ago by accident, as I mixed up the author’s name (Sorensen) with the name of the author of The Year at Maple Hill Farm , Provensen. But it was a lucky mistake.

I read this book to C a few years ago now and really enjoyed it, and recently realised Jasper and M would appreciate it now, so I’ve just finished reading it to them. A family move out from the city to mum’s grandma’s abandoned farmhouse in the country, as Dad’s struggling after returning home from a...more
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What do you like about this book? 4 25 Jul 12, 2013 10:43AM  
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VIRGINIA SORENSEN (1912-1991) was born in Utah, and it was her family's own stories that influenced her early novels of the American West.
More about Virginia Sorensen...
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“When you have done a great many good things, you forget to speak of them. It is those who do very little who must talk of it.
-Henry in Miracles on Maple Hill”
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