Miracles on Maple Hill

Sorensen, Virginia

Sierra LeRoy

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Characters: Marly

Marly is a young girl who is very curious of the world. Sometimes she gets over-excited. She loves all animals and nature, and when anyone tries to kill or harm the animals she calls her friends, she gets very emotional. To Joe, she is the most annoying little sister ever, but the do still have that brother-sister bond once in a while. She loves when Joe invites her to come and join him because he wants to show her. Overall she is a caring, little girl.

Characters: Joe

Joe is Marly's older brother and he thinks he knows everything. He believe Marly is beyond annoying, but loves showing everything to her. Joe is very adventurous. As soon as he got to Maple Hill, he explored everything everywhere. He's also curious like Marly is.

Characters: Mr. Chris

Mr. Chris is Marly and Joe's closest new neighbor. He is very friendly and knowing, but very fragile and old. He has seen Lee, Marly and Joe's mother, grow up. He know mainly everything about Maple Hill, but is not allowed to do much because of his age, even though he forgets almost all the time. Mr. Chris always worries his wife, Chrissie.

Characters: Lee and Dale

Lee and Dale are Marly and Joe's parents. They play somewhat of an important role in 'Miracle on Maple Hill.' Dale was a soldier and no one ever thought he would make it out alive. Lee was the loving wife that knew he was stressed and never pushed him on anything after he came home.


Maple Hill is in Pennsylvania, and it's mostly all nature. Marly and her family are surrounded by wildlife on all sides. There are lots of trees, flowers (In Spring), beautiful scenery, different types of animals, and of course you get the sweet smell of Maple. There is so much forests and fields to explore and learn about.


The war just ends and Marly and Joe's father comes home, but he is very stressed, worn out, and wants left alone. Lee, Marly and Joe's mother, says they should take a visit back to Maple Hill. So, they decide it's a good idea to go and finally relax. Once they get there, they meet old friends of Lee's, which Dale is not too happy about because he doesn't like to be around people at the time. Marly and Joe meet the Chris's, and Marly loves Mr. Chris. Joe, on the other hand, is mad at marly because she is the one who found him and not him. Later, they go to Grandma's old, torn up house where they are staying. They realise they have to fix it up. The next weeks involve exploring. Marly and Joe take adventures most the time, and Marly builds a relationship with Mr. Chris exploring the fields, woods, and town also. The more they stay, the more relaxed Lee and Dale also become. Dale gets a better attitude with everything and everyone. Lee is happy as long as Dale is. As the weeks go by and by, Lee and Dale decide that they are going to live there for a year or so, and once they get the "okay" from Marly and Joe it's a definite choice. Once spring hits, it is time to help with the sap, but Mr. Chris ends up in the hospital for awhile. Lee, Dale, Marly, and Joe all help with Mr. Chris's buckets that have been heavily filed miraculously with the sap from the trees. They get a little help from school students also who help them to finish the job fully. Finally, when all the sap is gone and Mr. Chris is out of the hospital, Dale is worried that the sap they had made for Chris just isn't right and he will be disappointed in them. When they take a cup of syrup to Mr. Chris, though, he says he loves it and that he doesn't see the difference between his and the syrup they successfully made. And they all call it a miracle.

The Award

The Newbery Award is an award given by the Association for Library Service to children. The award is given to the author of "the most distiguished contribution to the American literature for children." The Newbery award was named after John Newbery, an 18th century English publisher of juvenile books. The idea for this award was proposed by Frederic G. Melcher in 1921. The first children's book award in the world is the Newbery Award, and is 1 out of 2 of the most prestigious awards or children's literature in the U.S. The winner is announced every January. Every book considered must be written by a U.S. citizen or resident and must be published or simultaneously in the U.S. in English during the preceding year. The Newbery Award was established on June 22, 1921, and the first award was awarded the following year: 1922. The award was named afte John Newbery because he made it a priority to create specifically children books. The actual medal was designed by Rene Paul Chambellan. The first Newbery Award was awarded to Henderick Willem van Loon with his book, "The Story of Mankind." The 2014 Newbery Award was awarded to Kate Dicomillo with her book, "Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures."

The Author

Virgina Sorensen's birth name is Virginia Louise Eggertsen. She was born February 17, 1912, and grew up in Manti and American Folk, Utah. She studied journalism at Brigham Young University. She first married Frederick C. Sorensen, a professor at Indiana State Teachers College, now Indiana University. Virginia and her family moved around frequently. She divorced Sorensen, and remarried in 1969 to Alec Waugh. When Sorensen wrote Miracles On Maple Hill, she was currently living in Erie, Pennsylvania, where the book is based. She was awarded the Newberry Award in 1957. Her first book, "A Little Lower Than the Angels" was written and published in 1942, and her first Chidren's book is "Curious Missy." Her books are usually mormon-themed. Virgnia Sorensen has recieved two Guggenheim Fellowships, and she is considered "one of Utah's premiere gifts to literary America." From 1942 to 1978, she has published eight adult books, seven children books, and a collection of stories about her childhood. Virgnia Sorensen died, December 24, 1991, because of cancer.

My Thoughts...

I liked the book. It was very interesting to see how moving to Maple Hill effected Marly and Joe's family. I liked how the different situations had the family come together. The book explains the setting really well too, the author decribes it as if you well really there. This is a wonderful children's book and has the perfect criteria to recieve the Newbery Award. I believe it explains to children how even though things might be in a bad state, they can always have a good ending or good moments. Miracle On Maple Hill tells kids that miracles can happen, and that is what makes it a fantastic book.