Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood. (US) - (Canada)
Finished: Feb. 17, 2012
First Published: Jan. 1, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: children, historical fiction, southern fiction
First sentence: "What was taking Frankie so long?"
Publisher's Summary: "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."
Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.
Reason for Reading: I enjoy children's historical fiction set during the civil rights movement.
A quiet, coming of age story about the summer a white girl, daughter of a preacher, turns twelve amidst the turmoil of the civil rights movement coming to her small rural Mississippi town. While the main plot issue deals with the problems caused by certain town folks who are adamantly against the new segregation laws being put into practice in their town, the real focus of the story is Glory and her relationship with various people and her becoming aware of these issues around her. It is a story of sisters, as she and her sister, who is in high school now, drift apart and yet start a new kind of relationship. It is also a story of friends as Glory becomes distant from her best friend from childhood and draws close to a newcomer from the North.
The issues are handled very well and seen through the eyes of a child just developing into an awareness of life around her. Glory is an easy character to identify with, though some of the other characters weren't fully developed. This is a quiet story with small events happening and leading up to the climax but without any real action except one scene where a boy is beat up. Probably most suited to girls, an enjoyable quick read full of typical southern storytelling.