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Miracles on Maple Hill (1956)

by Virginia Sorensen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,862373,237 (3.84)48
After her father returns from the war moody and tired, Marly's family decides to move from the city to Maple Hill Farm in the Pennsylvania countryside where they share many adventures which help restore their spirits and their bond with each other.
  1. 00
    Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (MarthaJeanne)
    MarthaJeanne: These are both children's books of how moving to the country can heal. Both are written for girls and although several decades apart, both have that 'historical' feel for us today.
  2. 00
    Maple Sugar for Windy Foot by Frances Frost (bookel)
  3. 00
    Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (bookel)
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» See also 48 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
After her father returns from the war moody and tired, Marly's family decides to move from the city to Maple Hill Farm in the Pennsylvania countryside where they share many adventures which help restore their spirits and their bond with each other.
  PlumfieldCH | Mar 16, 2024 |
After her father returns from the war moody and tired, Marly's family decides to move from the city to Maple Hill Farm in the Pennsylvania countryside where they share many adventures which help restore their spirits and their bond with each other.
  PlumfieldCH | Sep 22, 2023 |
While this book seems a bit dated if read as a current novel, there is no reason it can't be loved as historical fiction, albeit at a more recent date than the Little House series. First published in 1956, I'm sure the children then were thinking that the experiences of Marly and Joe were within the realm of possibility for themselves. And, while not labelled as PTSD, I think the father's difficulties after his return home from the Korean War may resonate with some current readers.
I was a bit bothered in the beginning with the sibling bickering which seems to be a standard theme in many books. Fortunately the siblings are shown to develop tolerance and appreciation for each other before the book's end.
A positive theme was the connection developed between each of the family members and their elderly neighbors. ( )
  juniperSun | Jul 23, 2023 |
Really nice childrens book about how good neighbors and New England help a family heal. It kind of compares to A Girl of the Limberlost. I wanted to read this because Virginia Sorensen was LDS and I'd read another book by her. This one also won the Newbery award. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Marly, Joe, and their parents have been struggling for a while, since the father of the children returned home from war.. In addition to the experience of combat itself, he was captured, and in a prisoner of war camp for months. He was then hospitalized for a while before being able to return home.

But Daddy is suffering from what today we would call PTSD. He reacts very strongly to loud or sudden noises, is often sunk in depression, and equally often reacts to even small disagreements, even between others, with a frightening anger. Marly sometimes guiltily thinks things were better before Daddy came home.

But their mother, Lee, has inherited her grandmother's farm in New England. Her brother lived in it after Grandmother died, but he's gone now too. The farm is available, to get them out of the city, into the country and the open air, and a way of life different from the one that her husband can't seem to cope with anymore. With some prodding from Marly, whether that factored in or not, they move to the farm, initially just for school break, and start fixing it up.

Grandmother always told Lee that miracles happened on Maple Hill, and Marly in particular is hoping that's true.

The first people they meet, when they have not quite made it to the farm, are the Chris family. Mr. Chris tows them out of the slick spot on the road, and Mrs. Chris--Chrissy--invites them to stay for dinner. This is exactly what the children's father hoped to avoid--country people who are always helping each other and everyone knows everybody's business. Yet the dinner is wonderful, the Chrises are friendly and welcoming, and Lee doesn't have to cook for everyone when they reach the farm after the long drive from Pennsylvania.

Over the next weeks, the hoped-for miracles start to happen. They found Mr. Chris, or Chris as everyone calls him, at his sugar camp, making maple syrup. It's the first time Marly and Joe have tasted maple syrup made from sap boiled down straight from the tree. Both the children get to help, and to Marly, it's a miracle.

Over school break, Joe and Marly both learn a few lessons, and have adventures with Chris, as he teaches each of them to see the natural world all around them. Lee is enjoying (mostly) restoring her grandmother's farm to a working home again. Daddy is doing repairs, and when school break is over, he stays to continue the work. He seems a little calmer and less stressed, but no dramatic change yet.

Over the summer and the next winter, they encounter miracles of nature, interaction with animals both domestic and wild. It's a gentle story of a family rebuilding itself, and making a new life after their father's experiences in the war (the war is not named, but either World War II or Korea are plausible), made life in the city and returning to his old job untenable.

It's important to remember that it is the 1950s, and there's a long list of things Girls Are Not Allowed To Do, that boys are. The book accepts this as normal, but Marly is "a tomboy." She resists those restrictions, and sometimes she wins. There are also occasional bits of language that were normal then and seem questionable now. I'm old enough to remember when "squaw" was accepted as "the Indian word for woman," but all these decades later, it pulled me up short to here it in a story a teacher tells about how Indians learned to make maple syrup.

Still, this is a very gentle, positive, warm story about a family coming together.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Oct 1, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Virginia Sorensenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Krush, BethIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krush, JoeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For those who helped: Harvey Kreitz, and Waldo Bates, and Royce Mallory - AND REMEMBERING Uncle Chris.
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"Mother, say the scoot-thing again," Marly said.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

After her father returns from the war moody and tired, Marly's family decides to move from the city to Maple Hill Farm in the Pennsylvania countryside where they share many adventures which help restore their spirits and their bond with each other.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Marly and her family share many adventures when they move from the city to a farmhouse on Maple Hill.

Available online at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/search.php?query=t...
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