Reviews for Glory Be

Booklist Reviews 2012 January #1
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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Glory doesn't understand what's happening in her Mississippi hometown during the "Freedom Summer" of 1964. Difficult and changing relationships with her sister Jesslyn and friend Frankie mirror the swirling upheaval. The hotly debated closing of the segregated community pool both serves as a snapshot of the tumultuous era and illustrates Glory's realizations about the power of her own convictions.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 October #2
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)
Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 October #4

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.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 February

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 naïvet 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

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