M.C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton
‘”I don’t know.” M.C. signed. “…But I’m getting tired of Daddy. Tired as I can be.”
“Come on,” Banina said. “We’ll miss the morning sun.” And later: “It’s not your daddy you tired of, M.C. It’s here. It’s this place. The same thing day after day is enemy to a growing boy.”
And all the ghosts, M.C. thought. All of the old ones.’
M.C. lives on the side of a mountain, just like his father before him and his grandmother before him. But all that must come to an end. Strip mining threatens to send a pile of rubble down on his home. M.C.’s father refuses to see it.
But M.C. is watching for ways to get away and one of the ways arrives in the form of a fellow recording songs. This fellow, this dude, as M.C. calls him, will get M.C.’s mother a singing contract and take the family away from the hills, M.C. thinks.
Another stranger visits, a girl traveling around the country, a city girl who shows M.C. other ways of thinking, of viewing his world, the bigger world. She could be a way out, M.C. thinks.
But again and again life disappoints, people disappoint. Out of the disappointments M.C. takes new knowledge and adds it to his old life, building a new life out of the old.