Jill's Reviews > Miracles on Maple Hill

Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen
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's review
Feb 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: newbery-medal
Read from February 09 to 14, 2011

1957 Newbery winner. I liked it.

My parents make their own maple syrup. The details of the maple sugaring process is interesting to me and I thought the science of the process was included in an understandable way.

"How so many things could be in a few words was something else Marly didn't know. But it was the same way the whole feel of school can be in the sound of a bell ringing. Or the way the whole feeling of spring can be in one robin on a fence post."

"You can pump oil out of the ground, and water, too. But sap--you can't pump sap. It either decides to come up or it doesn't."

"Some folks use a thermometer," Mr. Chris said, "but I like being able to tell. If you start using machinery for everything, you get so ou don't just know anymore, it seems to me."

wow, times have changed for women since the 1950s!
"For the millionth time, she was glad she wasn't a boy. It was all right for girls to be scared or silly or even ask dumb questions. Everybody just laughed and thought it was funny."

Harry the Hermit, on Marly and Joe caring for chickens: "Each on a farm should care for something alive and useful."

"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."

"A north wind will stop a run. And Chris says a south wind blows the sap right back up the spiles."

"He looked tired, but he didn't look tired in the same way he used to look tired. Not at all. It was a kind tiredness, all soft instead of sharp and mean."

"This was why Mr. Chris loved sugaring time. Now she knew it. He loved not only spring coming and the warm fire and the good tastes and lovely smells, but cutting wood and hanging buckets and gathering sap and watching the slow change from plain watery sap to the deep amber of the finished syrup. And he loved the work itself."

This REALLY makes me think of winter time at Connie and Dave's house, especially their wood stove and Connie's clocks ticking in the background:
"Mother didn't say a word but only heated some milk, and they sat with their feet on the oven door and sipped at their steaming cups. Marly was glad for the silence and the warmth; it was cozy to sit with Mother in the night with the clock ticking and ticking and the fire crackling and the kettle slowly steaming."

"Every child in that school ought to see a place like this (sugaring house). It's part of their American heritage, that's what it is, and they don't even know it."


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