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Glory Be

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,809 Ratings  ·  433 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press
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Newbery 2013
31st out of 113 books — 1,215 voters
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Middle Grade Novels of 2012
43rd out of 297 books — 672 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Barb Keister
May 16, 2012 Barb Keister rated it it was amazing
Read this one following another great read set in the 1960s - Dead End in Norvelt. Great read aloud for 3rd - 4th grade showing the perspective of a child during the civil rights movement. Great attention to specific details that reflect the 60s - transistor radios, Nancy Drew books, and my favorite, double-dog dare you. Also, loved the message about writing to create change - no matter what your age, you can use your voice to express your opinion and encourage others to do the right thing. Grea ...more
May 20, 2013 Jehnie rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
If someone unfamiliar with American History asked me for a novel that discussed cultural realities of the Civil Rights movement in the small town, White, United States South I would hand him/her this book over The Help, hands down.

Glory Be brings to light a lot of really pertinent issues, but does it in a gentle yet realistic way that would make this an ideal class read trying to help kids understand a tense, tumultuous era.
It's the summer of Glory's 12th birthday and all she can think about is celebrating with her friends and her older sister at the community pool. Everything changes when the town council unexpectedly closes the pool for repairs. Glory can't understand why repairs are needed when nothing is broken. Though the adults in her life are reluctant to explain the real reason for the closure, slowly Glory realizes that the pool is actually closed because the council would prefer to close the pool for good ...more
I wanted to like this book more than I did. While the characters and story line were promising, I don't think the writing lived up to my expectations. I'll take it to my students this week and see what they make of it.
Ms. Yingling
Feb 25, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
Glory is looking forward to enjoying the hot Mississippi summer at the pool and is not happy when the pool is closed down for "repairs", especially since the pool seems to be in good shape. When she meets Laura at the public library, Glory finds out that the pool is closed because civil rights workers from the north are trying to get the town to integrate the pool. Laura's mother is working in a clinic for black citizens who don't have better access to health care. Glory's father is a prominent ...more
Amy Sherman
Jan 26, 2013 Amy Sherman rated it liked it
What is there to like?
Well-written prose, with a Southern lilt to the (first-person) narration and dialogue.
Although it is written from a white perspective, I don't think it's a White People Solve Racism story. Racism certainly isn't solved by the end of the book, and the "good" white people aren't magically accepted into the black community. Rather, Glory gets only glimpses of the work that the African-American community is doing for themselves through stories from Emma, the cook.
Glory's pre
Apr 24, 2015 Angie added it
Shelves: multicultural
Title: Glory Be
1. Reflection: Text to Text, Text to Self, Text to World connection with the book.

Text to world connection: In this story, Glory and Miss B were able to stand up for what they felt was right and invite Emma, a “colored” maid, to the library for a reception. In many countries, they would be sentenced to prison or even death for going against what the government as deemed the norm, even today. In today’s news, situations/altercations/etc. are still described as “racial
Saniya Ramjas
Nov 19, 2014 Saniya Ramjas rated it it was amazing
its a heart warming book and I fell in love with it
Nicola Mansfield
Mar 02, 2012 Nicola Mansfield rated it liked it
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 re
Dec 19, 2011 Kirby rated it really liked it
I read this a while back, in ARC form. The cover is absolutely stunning. Wow! And the story inside that cover is just great. Though it's hard to accept that the 1960s qualify as a setting for historical fiction, I have to remind myself that, to many of those who will read this book, they are.

I appreciated the author's sensitive perspective on a very distressing time period, and I also appreciated that the kid problem was the central theme, avoiding the creation of an "issue" book. Glory is a ric
Alex Baugh
Feb 21, 2013 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
I read Glory Be last summer during a very hazy, hot, and humid stretch of weather we were having.* It was the perfect book for the season - it, too, is loaded with heat and humidity, but not all of it is weather related.

Set in a place called Hanging Moss, Mississippi, Glory Be is a work of historical fiction set in 1964, a volatile time and place at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and much of it is drawn from the author's own recollections and experiences. It was during the summer of 19
Carol Baldwin
Feb 04, 2012 Carol Baldwin rated it really liked it
Glory Be (Scholastic, 2012) spans two weeks in the summer of 1964 when Gloriana Hemphill turns twelve. In these eye-opening weeks, Glory becomes aware of the racial prejudice that permeates her Mississippi town. When the local pool ostensibly closes for repairs, Glory takes it upon herself to figure out the real reason behind the closing. In an act of bravery, she writes a scathing letter to the editor of the local newspaper decrying the prejudice which drove the Town Council's decision.

Since I
Abby H
Sep 30, 2012 Abby H rated it it was amazing
Glory Be
Augusta Scattergood
Historicla Fiction
208 pages

A girl named Glory is an adventurous and curious person. She will do anything to help someone or something in this case both. Both Glory and her sister Jeeslyn go on adventure through trying to succeed in their life and others. The setting takes place in history of the time when whites were whites and blacks were blacks and for Glory she is still figuring that out. In life there is times that seem hard and times that seem easy but for Glory
Jun 02, 2012 Brittany rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Glory lives in Mississippi in 1964. There are fountains for the white people and fountains for the coloreds. Pools and schools are segregated and the white folks seem to like it that way. When some people decide to close the local pool though, Glory is flown for a loop. What do they think they can close the pool for. It's summer and almost Glory's birthday and she doesn't want that pool to be closed. They stated that is was for repairs, but slowly Glory realizes that it might have more to do wit ...more
Augusta Scattergood is the probably the coolest author name I've heard in...well, I can't think of a cooler one off the top of my head. Sounds totally made up, but if it's not, well then, it rocks. Now, on to the book.

Glory Hemphill's summer of 1964 isn't shaping up too well. Her sister Jesslyn, who only last year was playing Junk Poker with her and talking about how boys were gross, is telling Glory to leave her alone and prissing around mooning over boys. Glory's twelfth birthday is only days
Mar 12, 2012 Samuel rated it liked it
Shelves: children
The passage in Glory Be that most helped me make sense of how I felt about it isn't in the body of the novel at all, but rather buried towards the end of the Author's Note that serves as a postscript.

"I once thought this book was about sisters, how they grow apart and come back together. Then smart, important people showed me it was about more than sisters."

With the highest due respect for people who are probably smarter, and without a doubt more important than me, I think that maybe Augusta Sca
Jul 02, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Twelve-year-old Glory eagerly anticipates the summer of 1964 in Hanging Moss, Mississippi: reading at the library, swimming at the community pool with her best friend Frankie, playing cards with her sister, and celebrating her birthday on July 4. When rumors begin swirling about unwanted visitors and the closing of the community pool for suspiciously unnecessary repairs, Glory learns a life lesson on acceptance and hate.

Initially, I was hesitant to read this book, as I anticipated yet another s
I've read a lot of Civil Rights related fiction recently, so at first I thought this was just same the old, same old. About halfway through I realized what's different: Glory Be DOES tell the same story, but this time it's framed for a middle-upper elementary audience instead of the middle grades. Nice. There aren't too many of those out there (at least that I've come across).

My grandparents had a farm in "Olive Branch, MS" which is about an hour from Memphis; I spent summers there as a little g
Jan 05, 2015 Lara rated it liked it
Recommended to Lara by: Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee 2013
For the most part, I found the story pretty compelling, and for the most part I liked the characters; at the same time, however, I thought this somewhat simplistic and, at times, kind of unbelievable. For instance, main character Glory goes straight from being super mad about the local pool being closed, mainly because her birthday is coming up and she wants to have her party there like she always does (me, me, me!) to writing this impressive letter to the editor of the newspaper about how terri ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
In Hanging Moss, Mississippi, summer is filled with swimming at the pool, visits to the library, and just trying to stay cool. But for Glory, the summer of 1964 when she turned 12, was a very different summer. Now her older sister Jesslyn, doesn’t want anything to do with her. She is interested in boys more than in playing games with Glory. Her best friend Frankie has always been easy to get along with, but now things are strained. Glory does have a new friend, a girl from the north whose mother ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Whitney rated it really liked it
Glory Be is a wonderfully written book about the summer Gloriana June Hemphill's twelfth birthday, the summer of 1964, down in Mississippi. Civil Rights movements have just began in Hanging Moss, Mississippi, and these movements and their effect on the town are seen through the eyes of Gloriana (Glory, for short). Glory is spunky and a little bit sassy, which keeps the story entertaining and light-hearted, while still dealing with serious issues. The overarching dilemma of the novel is the effec ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Paula rated it liked it
I read this because I volunteered to review some books at the school where I work. Here are my thoughts...

I think this novel would be a good literary supplement to a 5th-7th grade Social Studies curriculum, especially during a Civil Rights Unit. If an educator were to provide sufficient background knowledge beforehand, I believe any student could benefit from Scattergood's storytelling. It is rare to find a story, based in the 1960s deep South, which does not sensationalize or dwell upon the atr
Given the recent events in McKinney, Texas, the subject-matter of this book compelled me to bring it to the top of my TBR pile.

While I did wish that the story went deeper into the controversy of the town's pool closing, I also understand that GLORY BE is told through the eyes of a young girl, and it was likely the right amount of depth for the age it was written for.
Mar 04, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
This story brought back vivid memories of growing up in the South during this time. My own Red Cross swimming lessons were ended before I ever got up the courage to learn to dive because of a closed pool that "needed repair." I remember being afraid to go downtown because of the sit-ins; in retrospect, not because of what the African-Americans might do but because of the behavior of the Whites who were so afraid of change. This story accurately portrays that time although I didn't know anyone wh ...more
Sep 16, 2013 Emma rated it liked it
Glory loves her summer how it has always been. Swimming at the community pool, sitting under her favorite tree with her friend Frankie, playing “junk poker” with her big sister, and her birthday party on July 4th. So when Summer 1964 comes along, many of those things are gone. The pool is closed and she’s not sure if Frankie is very nice anymore. Her sister is much more interested in her pep squad friends than her little sister, and the 4th of July... you will have to read the book to find out h ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Cathy rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book about the personal effects of the civil rights movement on an 11 yr old girl and her town in the deep South in the 60s geared for late middle graders. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a thoughtful, entertaining, and sweet story. I especially liked the flow of the language in the book. The language was pitch perfect for Mississippi in this time period, and at times I could hear my grandmother talking. This book does deal with both the beauty and ugliness that could ...more
Mar 11, 2012 Aly rated it really liked it
This story is a great starting point for a discussion about the civil rights movement with elementary aged kids. It presents themes of racism, injustice, and the social upheaval of desegregation in the southern US, but without becoming overly frightening or violent. I like that Glory comes to the fight against desegregation not because of high ideals, but because she wants to be able to swim in the community pool; it makes her seem real. The description of the meanness of prejudice was striking, ...more
A historical fiction novel set in Mississippi in 1964 about the challenges of desegregating a small town. Glory is 11, soon to be 12, and her favorite thing about summer is hanging out at the community pool. When it closes down due to racial tension brought on by civil rights workers visiting from Ohio she writes a strongly worded letter to the editor of the local newspaper.

Glory stands up for what she believes is right and grows up a lot during the summer of 1964. She befriends a girl who's mo
Jul 11, 2012 Janna rated it really liked it
Who: 4th to 6th grade
I loved this book! It is a great summer read (it takes place in the summer too). This historical fiction (my favorite genre after nonfiction) takes place in 1964 in Hanging Moss, Mississippi. Young Gloriana, known as Glory, is confronted with real racism when her beloved community pool closes rather than open its doors to nonwhites. The author (LOVE her name: Augusta Scattergood)combines lots of interesting elements including, Elvis, a single parent father, the public librar
Julieanne Harmatz
Nov 30, 2014 Julieanne Harmatz rated it really liked it
Got this lovely book at NCTE. A great partner for Deborah Wiles Freedom Summer. The thing that hits me for my students is that Glory stood up and made a difference. Something I'm trying to have my kiddos do with their passion projects. Glory is a character for us to learn from and emulate.
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Augusta Scattergood grew up in the Mississippi Delta and left to attend college at the University of North Carolina and library school at Simmons College. But she never really left her home state, even while living in New Jersey.

Her first novel is set in Mississippi during Freedom Summer, 1964. GLORY BE was published in January, 2012, by Scholastic Press. THE WAY TO STAY IN DESTINY, her new middl
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“Libraries are about books. Books have no color. And they don't care who reads them.” 9 likes
“She wore heavy sandals, with socks. No kid in the entire state of Mississippi wore black socks in the summer. Shoot, if I wasn't standing smack-dab in the middle of the library, I wouldn't be wearing shoes.” 4 likes
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