Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Glory Be, another selection from the Texas Bluebonnet Reading List 2013, is Augusta Scattergood’s debut historical fiction novel set in Hanging Moss, Mississippi during the summer of 1964 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. I absolutely loved this book and its strong female characters – it reminded me of “The Help”, but for upper elementary through middle school readers. Glory has noticed some changes going on in her small town and it doesn’t make her happy. Her older sister, Jesslyn, doesn’t seem to have time to play junk poker with her anymore. Jesslyn makes excuses to sneak off with Eddie the new boy with ideas that are different from those in Mississippi. When her friend, Frankie, tells her the town council is going to close the public pool, because it needs repairs – Glory knows something is up. Glory, with proof-reading by her maid Emma who is a surrogate mom to her and Jesslyn, writes a letter to the town newspaper declaring she knows the real reason the public pool has shut down and how angry it makes her. This causes big problems for their father who is the local preacher. When Glory gives away a secret she has promised to keep to herself, she learns the hard way about the price of betrayal. Scattergood transports her readers to the hot, humid summer where outsiders and a few strong, brave individuals from Hanging Moss stand their ground to offer those discriminated against the equality and justice they deserve.