Miracles on Maple Hill was written in 1956 and won the Newberry Medal for excellence in children’s literature the following year. Even though the story is now more than 50 years old, it has great relevance for modern youngsters. It chronicles the adventures of ten-year-old Marly and her family as they discover the healing power of nature.
The Main Body:
Marly and her brother Joe are thrilled to have their father home from years spent as a soldier, but he is not the same man they remember. Even though his physical wounds have healed, the damage to his spirit remains. He is sad and tired all the time, and in danger of becoming permanently embittered.
Marly’s mother remembers the wonderful experiences she had as a girl on her grandmother’s farm in Vermont. She decides that life in the country might help her husband to recover, and provide a good place for the whole family to bond together. So, she makes plans for them to leave the city and travel to Grandma’s now unused farmhouse.
When the family first moves to Maple Hill, the children are skeptical about what life will be like there. Will they have any friends? What will they do in their free time? However, when they meet their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Chris, and get involved in helping with “sugaring season” in the woods and learning how to produce perfect maple syrup, they become more enthusiastic.
As time passes and the seasons change, Mr. Chris points out the miracles of nature to Marly that are found all around her. He teaches her the names of plants, birds, wildlife, and insects and encourages her to observe them closely. Mr. Chris also advises Marly’s father about tasks that need to be done on their small farm. All the family members learn to work hard, but the fresh air and simple lifestyle begin helping them to thrive.
Their whole neighborhood is looking forward to sugaring time once again when tragedy strikes the Chris household. Will Marly and her family have the strength and wisdom to help Mr. Chris the way he has helped them? Is Father capable of handling the stress and responsibility of a big job? Do they need another miracle?
The story is lovingly told and packed full of information that will captivate young listeners and their parents. The action is intense enough to keep youngsters wondering, and they will hardly notice that they are learning about the process of producing maple syrup and living in the country as they listen.
Cynthia Bishop and the Full Cast Family narrate Miracles on Maple Hill. The voices of talented actors bring all the characters of the book vividly to life and make this audio version especially appealing for children of all ages. It’s a classic tale that won’t disappoint.