Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia

( 9 )

Overview

Will a spelling bee be the answer to all of Bird’s problems?

All her life, all Bird has ever wanted is to be noticed in her small town and to get to Disney World. As it turns out, Bird just might have a chance to realize at least one of her goals because of a state spelling bee, and she might get to make a friend along the way—a boy named Harlem Tate who has just moved to Freedom. Harlem seems like a kindred spirit—someone like Bird, whom people don’t usually take the time to ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $2.09   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$5.70
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

Will a spelling bee be the answer to all of Bird’s problems?

All her life, all Bird has ever wanted is to be noticed in her small town and to get to Disney World. As it turns out, Bird just might have a chance to realize at least one of her goals because of a state spelling bee, and she might get to make a friend along the way—a boy named Harlem Tate who has just moved to Freedom. Harlem seems like a kindred spirit—someone like Bird, whom people don’t usually take the time to find the good in. (Unless it’s someone like Miss Delphine, who always makes Bird feel special.) But as much as Bird tries to get his attention, Harlem is not easily won over. Then Harlem agrees to be her partner in the spelling bee, and if they study hard enough, the two might just win everything Bird’s always wanted.

In Barbara O’Connor’s funny new novel, a spunky young girl discovers that sometimes all it takes to feel famous is a little recognition from true friends.

Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Unpopular sixth-grader Burdette "Bird" Weaver persuades the new boy at school, whom everyone thinks is mean and dumb, to be her partner for a spelling bee that might win her everything she's ever wanted.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Finely tuned." — Starred, Booklist

"Bird's original voice has charm, grit, and spunkiness that, combined with small town sensibilities, unique characters, and humor, spell out a winner." — Starred, Kirkus Reviews

"An idiosyncratic group of characters play out this touching and well-paced story about friendship, family, and connection." —Horn Book Magazine

"Bird is literary kin to Scout, heroine of Harper Lee’s famous "To Kill a Mockingbird.…as charming and fresh as …the month of May." —Boston Globe

Publishers Weekly
Sixth-grader Burdette "Bird" Weaver joins the ranks of O'Connor's (Me and Rupert Goody; Moonpie and Ivy) unflappable and memorable smalltown narrators. When Harlem Tate moves to Freedom, Ga., and winds up in Bird's class, she wants to make friends with him "before somebody poisons his mind with lies" about her. She confides her wish during one of her daily visits to her neighbor, Miss Delphine, who "can look right through [a person's] mean spirit and find something the rest of us overlooked." After a few false starts with Harlem, one day Bird sees her chance: a spelling bee. Her teacher has said they must enter the contest with a partner, and Bird sets her sights on the mysterious new boy. O'Connor constructs the first-person narrative in such a way that readers can see why it may be challenging for Bird to make friends; but the girl's conversations with empathetic Miss Delphine also bring out Bird's humor and big heart beneath her rough edges. Slowly, Bird's dreams of "fame and glory" (winning a trip to Disney World as top prize in the spelling contest) become secondary to the real-life highs and lows of being a true friend. Her missteps along the way will be as recognizable to readers as the universal rewards of friendship. Ages 8-12. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Bird's two goals are to get noticed in this town and to go to Disney World. She is ignored and somewhat mistreated by the kids at school and confides in Miss Delphine. Much of Bird's feelings and character comes out through those conversations. Harlem Tate comes to town and has similar problems. Bird tries to partner with him for the spelling bee when she finds out how good he is at spelling. This is a difficult relationship, but it turns out well for both, even though they do not win the spelling bee. Miss Delphine befriends Harlem, his father and the owner of the tattoo parlor over which Harlem and his father live. Family and friends become very important and life starts to look good for Bird and Harlem. This is both a funny and sad story with a happy ending. No doubt many children will read and relate to some of the experiences. 2003, Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux,
— Naomi Butler
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Bird's classmates make fun of her clothes, as well as of the new boy, Harlem, giving the sixth grader reason to try to make friends with him. She and her neighbor Miss Delphine take a pie over to the apartment above the tattoo parlor where he lives with Mr. Moody, who collects cans for a living. Harlem's mother has sent her son to live with his father, whom he cannot recall ever meeting, because her latest husband does not like him. Bird is unable to reach Harlem until she convinces him to be her partner in the school spelling bee. She dreams of winning a trip to Disney World and of gaining "fame and glory." Through numerous practice sessions, the two build a friendship but, unbeknownst to Bird, Harlem has poor eyesight, and during the contest he cannot see words printed on an easel. These memorable characters find ways to work through their shortcomings, use their talents, and help one another. Written in the first person, the book is down-to-earth and satisfying. Readers dealing with acceptance issues will find solace in this story of friendship.-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When Bird decides to make a friend of Harlem Tate, the big new boy in sixth grade who looks mean and acts dumb, she gets whopped upside the head with a dose of reality. Bird has two goals in life: one, to make the pea-flicking kids notice her; and two, to go to Disney World. With her bowed, skinny legs, toothpick arms, stringy hair, and weird outfits, that first goal isn’t likely, but when she convinces Harlem to be her partner for the spelling bee, the prize trip to Disney World might be within reach. Harlem lives with can-collecting Mr. Moody above Ray’s Tattoo Parlor, where they practice spelling. Surprisingly, Harlem is a talented speller, but blows the contest by running off the stage. Bird’s friend, Miss Delphine, the beautiful young woman next door who cares for her invalid father, persuades Bird to remain Harlem’s friend and unearth his problem. Bird’s original voice has charm, grit, and spunkiness that, combined with small town sensibilities, unique characters, and humor, spell out a winner. (Fiction. 8-12)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374400187
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 376,840
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara O’Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Me and Rupert Goody, Greetings from Nowhere and How to Steal a Dog. She has been awarded the Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia

1

Harlem Tate hadn't been in Freedom, Georgia, more than three days before it was clear that nobody wanted anything to do with him. Nobody except me, that is. I had a burning desire to be his friend.

All everybody else saw in him was a silent, glaring kid who didn't smell too good. Me? I could tell by his scowling face that Harlem Tate didn't get many chances to see the good in folks. Like me. And something about his hunched-over way of walking told me Harlem Tate's insides were churning up with needing something. Like mine.

So when I sat on Miss Delphine Reese's front porch going over my day like I always do, I told her my plan.

"He's gonna be my friend," I said, watching her pick dead leaves off the potted plants.

"Is he now?" Miss Delphine stuffed the leaves in the pocket of her jeans and smiled at me.

"Well, maybe." I propped my feet up on the railing in front of me and frowned at my legs, all skinny and bruised up. How come I couldn't have legs like Celia Pruitt or Charlene Stokeley? Maybe I could sit with them at lunch if my legs weren't so ugly.

I told Miss Delphine everything I knew about Harlem. How he came here from Valdosta to live with Mr. Moody. How he's taller than anybody in sixth grade and even taller than lots of the eighth graders. I told her how he has this hunched-over way of walking and how he glares all the time and how everybody thinks he looks mean and acts dumb.

"He sits way in the back of the class and if Mrs. Moore asks him something, half the time he don't even answer," I said. "Brian Sutter said he's been in the sixth grade for three years."

Miss Delphine pressed her lips together in that way that makes her dimples show.

"Aw, phooey." She flapped her hand at me. "I wouldn't listen to talk like that," she said.

"Harlem is tall," I said. "You should see him."

Miss Delphine clicked her Passion Pink fingernails on the arm of her chair while I told her more stuff.

"Everybody at school says he's living with Mr. Moody because his daddy's in prison and his mama choked on a chicken bone at the Holiday Inn," I said.

Miss Delphine smiled and combed her fingers through her fluffy red hair. "Sounds like he could use a friend."

Anybody else might have had something more to say about a boy showing up out of nowhere to stay with a crazy old man who chews tobacco and lives over a tattoo parlor and looks for cans on the side of the road. Anybody else might have said if Harlem looks so mean and acts so dumb, then why in the world do I want to go and be his friend? But not Miss Delphine. She's beautiful inside and out. She treats everybody like they have worth—even those worthless kids at school who treat me like dirt for no good reason. And she has a talent for finding the good in everybody—and, believe me, that's hard to do in this town. Some folks in Freedom are so mean in spirit they don't deserve anything better than a good kick. But Miss Delphine, she can look right through their mean spirit and find something the rest of us overlooked.

So I told her some more about my plan. "Nobody else wants to be his friend, see, so that means he's available for me," I said. "I think it was kind of a stroke of luck, don't you? Him coming to Freedom and not having any friends and all?"

She nodded. "A stroke of luck, for sure."

"I took one look at him and I said to myself, 'Bird, here's your chance. Make friends with that kid,' I said, 'before somebody poisons his mind with lies about you.'"

Miss Delphine arched her eyebrows. "Now, who's gonna go and do a thing like that?"

I frowned at my ugly legs again. "Shoot, we'd be hereall day if I start naming 'em all." I licked my finger and wiped dirt off my knee.

She put her hand on top of my hand and squeezed. Her skin was pure white. Not even one little freckle.

A bell jingled from inside the house.

Miss Delphine stood up and ruffled my hair. "I'll be right back," she said.

The screen door slammed behind her. I could hear her voice from the back bedroom and then the hoarse grumble of Pop Reese. I wrinkled my nose just thinking about that old man laying back there in the bed, all teary-eyed and drooling.

Sometimes I feel selfish being so glad that Miss Delphine had to leave her fancy job in Atlanta after her daddy had a stroke. Lucky for me her goodness is so big that she didn't bat an eye when her sister, Alma, told her she better come home and take care of Pop. She just packed her things and came on back to live next door to me again. Mama is all the time telling me to stop pestering Miss Delphine. But I can't help it. There's not much of anything I'd rather do than visit Miss Delphine. Besides, she seems like she don't mind being pestered.

While I waited on her porch, I could hear her bustling around inside, talking real sweet to Pop. Then she came out and sat beside me on the porch again. She smelled like medicine. Her blue eye shadow glittered in the late afternoon sun. I wish my mama would let me wear glittery blue eye shadow like that.

"I love those boots," Miss Delphine said.

I looked down at my dirty white boots. They had been my sister Colleen's marching band boots. I love them 'cause they're so soft and broken in. I was glad Miss Delphine loved them, too.

"Celia Pruitt said they're loser boots," I said. "But I saw Harlem looking at 'em. I could tell he liked 'em."

Miss Delphine smiled and gazed out at the magnolia tree in the front yard. Its leathery leaves spread out across the ground like a giant tepee.

"I remember when Pop planted that tree," Miss Delphine said. "Just look at it now, all grown up and fine as can be." She patted my knee. "Just like Bird," she added.

I grinned and felt my insides swell up with love for Miss Delphine, who always makes me feel good about myself.

"So what do you think about my plan?" I said. "For Harlem Tate to be my friend."

She cocked her head at me and winked. "I think it's a good plan."

"Okay, then, I'll do it. Starting tomorrow, Harlem Tate is gonna be my friend."

I nodded my head real big and sure, like I had confidence. Like my plan was good. Like Harlem Tate really was going to be my friend. But I was glad Miss Delphine couldn't see what was on the inside of me, 'cause inside, I wasn't too sure at all.

Copyright © 2003 by Barbara O'Connor

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2010

    Love it~ So good!

    Best book I have ever read. Top 5 fav books that are my fav~

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2008

    Good Book

    This Is an Oustanding book please read it especially to teens or kids.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    Unpopular sixth-grader Burdette 'Bird' Weaver persuades the newboy at school,who everyone thinks is mean and dumb,to be her partner for a spelling bee that might win her everything she'sever wanted.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    A book about friendship and family. About winning and losing, and how to tell the difference. They just don't make spunky heroines like Burdette Weaver (Bird for short) any better. O'Connor writes with such humor and knows how to tell a story kids will love. Don't miss this one.

    FAME AND GLORY IN FREEDOM, GEORGIA received a Parents' Choice Gold Award.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2013

    One of the best things about being a children's librarian is dis

    One of the best things about being a children's librarian is discovering new (to me) children's authors.  Barbara O'Connor popped up on my radar when Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia was a Sunshine State Reader for the school year 2005-2006.  I checked it out one night after work, read it, and brought it back the next morning.  In those few hours of a hasty reading, Ms. O'Connor won me over. 
    Barbara O'Connor has a clear, distinct, Southern voice.  Her characters are quirky, funny, a bit tumble-down, rumpled and flawed, but with hearts as big as the state of South Carolina.  I fell in love with Bird, the main character in Fame and Glory, about seven years ago when I first read this book, and all over again today when I re-read it. 
    Bird's story ends with a happy ending, but not a fairy tale ending.  She is not a passive person.  She is not a perfect person.  She is, however, a perfect character; as, I suspect, is Ms. O'Connor.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Good

    Nice!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    OK

    My teacher read this to us last year. Good, but to " Oh, Miss Delphine loves my good ol' Georgia\Texas accent and my sappy love and freindship stories. Now ya'll, let's go back to riding our horses across the Georgia friendship love pasture. Yeehaw!" Yah.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)