Glory Be

Overview


A Mississippi town in 1964 gets riled when tempers flare at the segregated public pool.

As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she'll be entering high school. Then there's her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they ...

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Glory Be

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Overview


A Mississippi town in 1964 gets riled when tempers flare at the segregated public pool.

As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she'll be entering high school. Then there's her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren't. Maybe it's the new girl from the North that's got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it's the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open.

Augusta Scattergood has drawn on real-life events to create a memorable novel about family, friendship, and choices that aren't always easy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise and Accolades for GLORY BE

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

Publishers Weekly
The hot summer of 1964 in Hanging Moss, Miss., is the setting for Scattergood’s modest debut, featuring high-spirited Glory, who is looking forward to celebrating her 12th birthday on the Fourth of July with her traditional party at the town pool. But the civil rights movement is sprouting throughout the South, and a group of Freedom Workers has arrived in Hanging Moss, causing consternation among many townspeople and resulting in actions that dismay Glory—like the closing of the segregated pool. Scatter-good divides the characters a little too neatly into the good guys (Glory’s preacher father and her sister, Jesslyn; their loyal housekeeper, Emma; and the town librarian) and the bad guys (the high school football star; his town councilman father; and prejudiced busybody Mrs. Simpson), but she aptly portrays Glory’s emotional confusion as she struggles to understand and cope with the turmoil. Also well done is the changing relationship between Glory and Jesslyn, as well as her roller-coaster friendship with her best buddy, Frankie. Scattergood’s effective snapshot of the fight against segregation, one town at a time, makes personal the tumultuous atmosphere of the times. Ages 9–12. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Sue Poduska
Gloriana June Hemphill is eleven and soon to be twelve years old and living in Mississippi in the days of the Freedom Riders. The author does an amazing job of presenting all the issues of racial integration during the 1960s while still maintaining the eleven-year-old point of view. The story begins with Glory befriending the Yankee daughter of a doctor at the free clinic. Her new friend, Laura, doesn't realize or care that some facilities are meant for whites only. Glory's beloved swimming pool is closed days before her traditional poolside birthday party. She's saddened, angered, and confused by the closing. Is it because of invisible cracks or because of a planned integration? Glory's sixteen-year-old sister, Jesselyn, has a new boyfriend, Robbie. He's visiting his aunt because he dared eat next to a colored friend at a North Carolina lunch counter. Glory's life is further complicated by her old friend, Frank, whose family the reader can identify as racist; by her colored maid, Emma, who is like a mother to Glory; and by her preacher father, who wants to do the moral thing. The subtle ways the issues are demonstrated make this an enjoyable and readable book. As Glory's father, Brother Joe, says, "Books don't care who reads them." Reviewer: Sue Poduska
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Spunky, engaging Gloriana Hemphill, 11, describes the "freedom summer" of 1964 in Hanging Moss, MS, where winds of social change are beginning to upset the status quo. In a series of eye-opening adventures, Glory learns that her sheltered life as a preacher's kid has overshadowed her awareness of injustice and intolerance in her town. When the segregated community pool is closed indefinitely, her predictable world is upended. A new girl arrives from Ohio with her mother, a nurse who will be running a Freedom Clinic for poor black people. Big sister Jesslyn's new boyfriend reveals that he was once jailed in North Carolina for sitting with a "colored friend" at a white lunch counter. Meanwhile, best friend Frankie spouts dislike of Yankees and Negroes but is clearly manipulated by a racist father and an abusive older brother. Although Glory's ingenuous, impulsive behavior often gets her in trouble at home and in the community, she learns the importance of compassion, discretion, and self-awareness. A cast of supportive adults helps her mature: her patient, widowed father; her beloved African American housekeeper; and the open-minded local librarian. This coming-of-age story offers a fresh, youthful perspective on a pivotal civil rights period. Historical references to Attorney General Robert Kennedy's visit, the influx of civil rights workers, and Elvis vs. The Beatles popularity are included. But the richness of this story lies in the Mississippi milieu, the feisty naïveté of the protagonist, and the unveiling of the complexities of human nature. Glory is an appealing, authentic character whose unflinching convictions, missteps, and reflections will captivate readers.—Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC
Kirkus Reviews
The closing of her favorite swimming pool opens 11-year-old Gloriana Hemphill's eyes to the ugliness of racism in a small Mississippi town in 1964. Glory can't believe it… the Hanging Moss Community Pool is closing right before her July Fourth birthday. Not only that, she finds out the closure's not for the claimed repairs needed, but so Negroes can't swim there. Tensions have been building since "Freedom Workers" from the North started shaking up status quo, and Glory finds herself embroiled in it when her new, white friend from Ohio boldly drinks from the "Colored Only" fountain. The Hemphills' African-American maid, Emma, a mother figure to Glory and her sister Jesslyn, tells her, "Don't be worrying about what you can't fix, Glory honey." But Glory does, becoming an activist herself when she writes an indignant letter to the newspaper likening "hateful prejudice" to "dog doo" that makes her preacher papa proud. When she's not saving the world, reading Nancy Drew or eating Dreamsicles, Glory shares the heartache of being the kid sister of a preoccupied teenager, friendship gone awry and the terrible cost of blabbing people's secrets… mostly in a humorously sassy first-person voice. Though occasionally heavy-handed, this debut offers a vivid glimpse of the 1960s South through the eyes of a spirited girl who takes a stand. (Historical fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545331814
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/6/2015
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,383,124
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Former librarian and children’s book reviewer Augusta Scattergood has devoted her life and career to getting books into the hands of young readers. Her reviews and articles have appeared in THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, DELTA MAGAZINE, the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, and other publications. Additionally, Augusta is an avid blogger. Please visit her at www.augustascattergood.com. She lives in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
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