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Uncertain Glory

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Joe Wood has big dreams. He wants to be a newspaperman, and though he’s only thirteen, he’s already borrowed money for the equipment to start his own press. But it’s April 1861, and the young nation is teetering on the brink of a civil war. He has to help Owen, his young assistant, deal with the challenges of being black in a white world torn apart by color. He needs to ta ...more
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published April 4th 2014 by Islandport Press
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3.91  · 
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 ·  47 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Lea Wait
Mar 17, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote UNCERTAIN GLORY because I loved the idea that Joe Wood, a real boy in April, 1861, published his town's newspaper for about a year. That he did so during the critical days of Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War was too good a story to miss. I read Joe's newspaper and his diary, now in the Maine Historical Society's archives, and decided to also include Joe's close friend Charlie Farrar, who helped Joe with the newspaper, but who chose a different future from Joe's, and who saw ...more
Lynn Plourde
Oh my, that Lea Wait knows how to bring history to life! She starts with a real person (who's diary she read) and then spins a wonderful fictional story around that character. It's 1861 in Wiscasset, Maine, and 13-year-old Joe Wood runs his own newspaper, but if he doesn't make enough money to pay off the money he borrowed to start the paper, he'll lose his business. And when you charge one cent for a one-page flier of news and you have to handset all the type, it seems nearly impossible to pay ...more
Jan Rog
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
A young boy full of dreams and responsibility towards his friends, a possible charlatan medium, and a community on the brink of the Civil War. This is a book about choices and commitment. Perhaps there were too many characters for a novel of this length. This could have been longer, allowing for the many characters to be better developed, or it could have addressed fewer characters at depth. Still, I enjoyed this bit of historical fiction. There are lessons about maturity, compassion for others, ...more
Ms. Yingling
Nov 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Joe Wood has managed, through some luck and lots of hard work, to set up his own newspaper business in the small town of Wiscassett, Maine, in 1861. He owes money to another newspaperman, and if he can't get the money together, he may lose the business. He has help from his best friend, Charlie, whose father runs a local hotel, and from Owen, a nine-year-old African-American boy. Luckily, there are a lot of newsworthy events going on-- Fort Sumter falls, and Nell Grammercy, a young but noted med ...more
Gail Nall
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Uncertain Glory is the story of Joe Wood, a thirteen-year-old boy who publishes his own newspaper in the little town of Wiscasset, Maine in 1861. Joe has help from his friend Charlie, and a younger African-American boy named Owen. At the start of the Civil War, Joe has almost more business than he can handle with the war news and the arrival in town of a young spiritualist, Nell, who claims she can speak with the dead. Joe and Charlie suspect Nell is a fraud, but when Owen goes missing, Joe seek ...more
Julie Williams
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Joe Wood is a young boy with big dreams. At 14 he has started a newspaper in his town of Wiscasset, Maine but only has a little time until he must pay off a loan and keeps the paper. It's also the beginning of April 1861 and the whole country is on edge as the United States enters into the Civil War and people are talking of enlisting. During this time a spiritualist named Nell is in town. Joe is trying to cover the news, figure out if Nell is for real, help his friend Owen who is a young black ...more
Laura Phelps
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: possiblemsba2014
Interesting take on the arrival of the Civil War. I live in Wiscasset, so perhaps I am biased, but I think Wait did an admirable job of showing the excitement and trepidation that came along with the arrival of the Civil War in small town Maine.
Ellen Brandt
Set on the Maine coast at the brink of the Civil War, this story, told from the point of view of a 13 year old newspaper editor, captures important dilemmas including patriotism, race relations, child welfare, spiritualism, addiction, loyalty.
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lea Wait brought the days preceding the Civil War to life, as told through the eyes of young Joe Woods.
I think the cover and title of this book do it a disservice. This is an excellent younger YA/older MG historical fiction selection, set on the eve of the Civil War. Based on actual events and people, UNCERTAIN GLORY is the story of fourteen-year-old Joe and his newspaper. After a distant relative leaves him a printing press, Joe decides to publish a weekly newspaper for his small Maine town, together with his friends, sixteen-year-old Charlie and Owen, a nine-year-old African American boy who he ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
In 1861 in small-town Wiscasset, Maine, teenage Joe runs his own printing shop and newspaper—at least he will if can make enough money to pay off his equipment. Luckily, things are happening in Wiscasset: the telegraph brings constant news of the start of the war, which gives Joe both newspaper articles and extra printing jobs, and there’s a twelve-year-old medium in town bringing news of the dead—or is she? Joe’s partner Charlie is determined to expose her as a fraud, and just as determined to ...more
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’d give this novel 5 stars. First, I really enjoy reading this novel, and it was interesting. The story was about a young boy (Joe Wood) who started his own business which is publishing a newspaper. He got help from his friends Charlie and Owen. At that time, two important things happened, the war and Nell Gramercy, the girl how can hear the death. The author gave us some personal detail about especially in Joe and Nell’s lives. Joe the one how takes care of his family after his brother died. N ...more
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, reviewed-books
Loved this book and am hoping there are sequels! I'm not usually one for historical fiction, but this one was really well done--and well researched. Story is based on a number of actual residents of this small town in Maine on the eve of the Civil War breaking out in the South. Story's told from the perspective of a 14-year-old young man who inherited a printing press, and it truly is the journalist's perspective. Highly recommend, especially for anyone who liked L. Halse Anderson's Chains.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: clean-reads, great
This book was very good. It really did bring that time period to life in a way I've never seen before. I loved the characters and I loved that it had a happy ending. Most books just kind of end, but this one really was a happy ending. I do admit being the tiniest bit bored in the middle (I'm not sure why-the story wasn't necessarily dull at any point...) but I'm glad I read it.
Jane Irish Nelson
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childen-s, historical
Young Joe Wood has big dreams. Already, at 14, he owns and operates a newspaper — if only he can pay off his loan in time! Then war breaks out between the North and South, and suddenly he has almost more work than he can handle. The news of war affects different people in different ways, providing an excellent backdrop for this novel. Highly recommended.
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
The story of a teenager running a small town newspaper at the start of the Civil War. Wait does a good job bringing 1861 Wiscasset, Maine to life. This is well-researched historical fiction with characters the reader will care about in an interesting time period.
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical novel for young readers.
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book was about Racism
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Maine author Lea Wait writes the NYT-praised 8-book Shadows Antique Print Mystery series, the latest of which is SHADWS ON A MORNING IN MAINE, and the USA Today best-selling Mainely Needlepoint series which debuted with TWISTED THREADS in January, 2015, and was followed by THREADS OF EVIDENCE in August, 2015, THREAD AND GONE, in January, 2016, DANGLING BY A THREAD in late October, 2016, and TIGHTE ...more