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Glory Be Paperback – December 30, 2014
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Each year, Gloriana Hemphill celebrates her Fourth of July birthday at the community pool. But the summer before her twelfth birthday, in 1964, Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is in turmoil, and that turmoil reaches right into Glory’s life. Yankee “freedom people” have infiltrated the town, rousing rabble and insisting the white-only pool be desegregated. The town council, in response, has closed the pool “for repairs,” indefinitely. And so Glory’s summer, once a promise of happy tradition, is now fraught with unwanted change. First-time novelist Scattergood has a deft hand with characterization, fully realizing the supporting players, from Frankie, Glory’s best friend and son of the bigoted town council chief, to Jesslyn, her teenaged older sister, to Laura, a girl visiting from Ohio while her mother sets up a free clinic. In Glory herself, tilting on the threshold of adolescence, Scattergood paints a balanced portrait of childlike self-interest and awakening integrity. This moving, intimate look at America’s struggle for civil rights, as seen through the narrow lens of one growing girl, will spark interesting discussion. Grades 3-6. --Thom Barthelmess --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A NPR Backseat Book Club” selection
Featured on NPR's Weekend Edition”with Scott Simon
A Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee
"There's a whiff of Carson McCullers in Augusta Scattergood's story of a sultry Southern summer long ago when the outside world moved all the markers of Glorianna Hemphill's growing up. It's a summer of bigotry and behive hairdoos, of sit-ins and dangerous boys. All mixed together and beautifully recalled."--Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A YEAR DOWN YONDER
"GLORY BE is a lovely debut novel for younger readers, akin to Kathryn Stockett's THE HELP--an important read that raises powerful racial issues of the 1960s American South."--Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award-winning author of MOCKINGBIRD
GLORY BE weaves a seamless story of sisterly love, broken friendships, and the strength that it takes to stand up for the right thing. Augusta Scattergood is at the top of my debut-authors-to-watch list."--Barbara O'Connor, Parents' Choice Award-winning author of HOW TO STEAL A DOG
"In Glory herself, tilting on the threshold of adolescence, Scattergood paints a balanced portrait of childlike selfinterest and awakening integrity. This moving, intimate look at America’s struggle for civil rights, as seen through the narrow lens of one growing girl, will spark interesting discussion."--BOOKLIST
"This debut offers a vivid glimpse of the 1960s South through the eyes of a spirited girl who takes a stand."--KIRKUS REVIEWS
"Scattergood's effective snapshot of the fight against segregation, one town at a time, makes personal the tumultuous atmosphere of the times."--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Glory is an appealing, authentic character whose unflinching convictions, missteps, and reflections will captivate readers."--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
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And the novel has a bit of that flavor. But also I see the influence of Harper Lee in this novel with the first person narrator, the mother who is dead, the black housekeeper, the father who represents virtues.
And it is that historical time when Yankee--you know, those do-gooders who just aren't welcomed--come to the South to help with desegregation. And indeed a mother and her daughter have arrived, a daughter Glory's age. They meet in the library.
And I am not going to tell any more of the story except to say that I am old enough to know that this is very accurate and one that I am sure young adults as well as actual adults would enjoy reading. I suspect the many young adults will know little of this history although I think the author has done a very good job of providing enough information to help young readers.
I could easily see this being used as a classroom teaching tool. As a retired English teacher I know I would have used it.
This is like putting "The Help" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" together for adolescents. Really great writing.
Gloriana June Hemphill puts me in mind of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Both are feisty, likable characters who learn a tough lesson during a hot summer month in the South. But TKAM was written for adults, its syntax too complex for most young minds. "Glory Be" is written for children. A line of dialogue in the first chapter (and also the chapter's title) let's you know that this is a novel kids will relate to. Glory can't wait to get to the community pool to cool off. She tells her friend, Frankie, to hurry up. "It's so hot I can't hardly spit," she says. I can't help but think that Glory and Scout would be great friends if they'd lived in the same era. With this book, our kids can experience, at a safe distance, what both of those protagonist did. That the world is not fair, but if we face it head on, we can learn and grow. And just maybe make it a bit better.