Literature Connections to

Teacher's Guides > Height-O-Meters

M.C. Higgins, The Great
by Virginia Hamilton
Macmillan, New York. 1974
Grades: 7–12
This strange and moving slice-of-life tale features teen-aged Mayo Cornelius Higgins who sits on a 40-foot pole and surveys the denizens of Sarah’s Mountain. M.C.’s life is changed forever when a wandering young woman spends time in the area, and a man from the city comes to record his mother’s folk singing. The early chapters, particularly the end of Chapter 1 and all of Chapter 2, are concerned with the view and perspective from the pole’s height, and so connect most directly with the flagpole measurement activity. Eventually the pole becomes a symbol, a marker of the family’s multi-generational connection to their home. There is also information on the way that strip mining has ravaged the land, is threatening their house, and affecting the lives of their unusual neighbors and the local animals. The real “measurement” in this award-winning novel is of maturity, responsibility, and a growing appreciation of family and an understanding of self.

You may also want to look at the literature connections listed for Experimenting with Model Rockets.












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