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The Windy Hill

Cornelia Meigs

Book Overview: 

When two children come to stay with their cousin, they immediately realize something is wrong, but no one will tell them what. Their cousin is strangely altered: nervous, preoccupied, hardly aware of their existence. They soon discover that a conflict is brewing among the hills and farms of the Medford Valley, one whose origins reach back over a century. They must piece it together from scattered clues, and from the stories told to them by a mysterious bee keeper and his daughter.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .wled to the stern and took up the paddle; a crash of thunder broke over their heads and a wild flare [43]of lightning lit the dark water as he dipped the blade. In a moment, rain was falling in blinding sheets, the wind and spray were roaring in their ears, and the ebbing tide was carrying them away, out of the harbor, past the rocky island, straight to the open, angry sea.

After a long time, Secotan, who had lain inert where he had been thrown into the boat, got to his knees and took up the second paddle. Only by keeping the little boat's bow to the wind could immediate destruction be averted. But the medicine man's strokes were feeble, affording little help, and at last he laid down the blade.

"It is of no use, Nashola," he said. "Death rides on the wind and snatches at us from the black waters. Lay down your paddle and let us die."

"No," the boy answered, "even though death is not an hour away, we will fight it until the very end."

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Community Reviews

While not quite as brilliant as the other two Meigs books I've read so far, this is a pleasant story. The character development (particularly of the antagonist, I thought) isn't quite as good as in her later books, but it has the same beautiful descriptive writing. One of the most interesting elemen

Oliver attempts to escape from Cousin Jasper's house to the train station because he does not want to meet cousin Eleanor. Instead, he meets Polly and the Beeman, who proceeds to tell a story about a Native American boy, Nashola, around the time Europeans started coming to America. Oliver misses the

One of five Newbery Honor Books for 1922, the year the award was first established, The Windy Hill is the story of fifteen-year-old Oliver Peyton, who, together with his younger sister Janet, comes to stay with his Cousin Jasper at his home in Medford Valley. Resentful at Cousin Jasper's unprecedent

A whole lot of fun. A little mystery, creativity, family history, some adventure... and bees. I sure had fun with this one. As I'm reading through, now, all of the Newbery Honors, I wonder how The Story of Mankind could have possibly won outside of the probable uniqueness of the book at the time. Th

Amy from Hope is the Word is once again hosting her wonderful Newbery Through the Decades challenge. Each month, from January to October, participants read Newbery medal and honor books from each decade in which the award has been given. January's focus is on the 1920s. This is a tough decade becaus

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