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Blue Skies

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  39 reviews
For fans of Kate DiCamillos Louisianas Way Home, this heartwarming novel tells the story of ten-year-old Glory Bea as she prepares for a miracle of her very ownher fathers return home.

Glory Bea Bennett knows that miracles happen in Gladiola, Texas, population 3,421. After all, her grandmotherthe best matchmaker in the whole countyis responsible for thirty-nine of them.

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published March 1st 2020)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a slice of life for small-town Texas in the days after WW II. When I finished, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" was on my mind. Glory Bea Bennett is eleven years old and her daddy is MIA after Omaha Beach. Glory Bea is certain that her daddy is just lost, not dead. As the famous Gratitude Train makes its way to her little town of Gladiola, Texas, she is certain her daddy will be the promised surprise guest. Throughout the book, we live life with Glory Bea and her family. They go to ...more
Ms. Yingling
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Glory Bea lives in a small town of Gladiola, Texas during WWII. Her father was declared Missing In Action on Omaha Beach, but Glory doesn't believe he is really dead. In fact, when she hears that the Merci Train is coming to her state with a thank you from the people of France, she is sure that her father will be on the train. The train is coming two days after Valentines' Day, which was her parents anniversary, and it's hard to wait that long. There are lots of
Ellie Grace
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soooo sad but soooo gooood
Jenny Claiborne
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

All. The. Feels. What an absolutely precious, heartwrenching story! Beautifully written characters make you feel instantly connected to the story.

Glory Bea has been waiting for her father to return from the war in France for three long years. All of a sudden his friend from the service shows up and everything begins to change...or is Glory Bea just now beginning to understand what others have known all along?
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was received as an ARC from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I could not get enough of this book and the message that was carried throughout the book. Glory Bea Bennett is very inspiring to all people with her grandmother being the biggest miracle worker and with the war ending and Glory Bea's father not returning, it is easy for
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Glory Bea is sure that the Merci Train is bringing her daddy home from the war-- but her family seems to be moving on. Don't they know he'll be back soon? Randall, daddy's best friend from the front lines, has come to visit, and doesn't seem to be leaving town anytime soon. Meanwhile, Glory Bea is also testing her skills as a matchmaker, like her grandmother is known for, but doesn't seem to have as much luck as she does. Blue Skies is a bittersweet small town story of family and love that goes ...more
I was instantly drawn into Blue Skies by the whimsically gorgeous cover art and premise. I was unprepared, however, for just how much the book would tug at my heartstrings. World War 2 stories have always resonated with me deeply, thanks to growing up hearing the experiences shared by my grandma. Grandma was an army nurse in both England and France during the War. She often told stories about the people she met in France, the songs they sang while overseas, and the horror of what was left of ...more
Olivia Fink
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-wins
Won in a Goodreads Giveaway.

This book was a very comforting read. It was well developed and well written. I like the pace, not to slow or fast.

Some things that could have been approved on was indicating when a time shift would happen. One sentence was at one time and then next thing I knew everything changed. So it would have been nice to have a little more indication of change in time and setting.For my personal liking I give this book a 2.5 or 3 but because it is written for a younger
Abby Johnson
The Merci Train is coming to their little town of Gladiola, Texas and Glory Bea knows that means her father's finally on his way home. Although the war ended several years ago and Glory Bea's father is presumed dead, Glory Bea has never lost hope that her father would turn up again. She just knows that he'll be waiting for her on the Merci Train, ready to make up for lost time. And he'd better hurry because his best army friend Randall has arrived in town and is courting Glory Bea's mom. As much ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This Middle-Grade WW2 novel most of all about the grief of people left on the homefront. Glory Bea Bennett is looking for a miracle. She believes her father could still come home three years after D Day and the battle on Omaha Beach. There is also a funny side plot containing the adventures of her Gram, the matchmaker which tempers the sadness that surrounds having to adjust your dreams to reality.
Megan Schmelzer
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Blue Skies, by Anne Bustard, won my heart within the first few pages. It was just one of those books that you cannot put down.

In the story, Blue Skies, you will meet a spirited 10-year-old named Glory Bea Bennett. Glory Bea lives in a tiny town called Gladiola, Texas, and they are excitedly waiting for the gratitude train from France, and Glory Bea is sure that the Gratitude Train will have the ultimate gift aboard for her.

France is sending a train full of boxes cares to the United States. Each
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Glory Bea navigates through the anticipated days of the Merci train she still holds onto the hope of her father returning from WWII. Her father's friend comes for an extended visit and gets too comfortable in Glory Bea's opinion. What is a girl to do? She just wants her dad to return.
This is a sweet book that has some very real themes about war that will always hold true no matter the year. I did find a few things that were not historically correct and that distracted me, (her friend had
Debbie Lesley
I love reading a YA book and find myself making plans as to how I would use this if I was still teaching.

This book takes place in the years following WWII where Glory Bea lives in Texas with her mother and her grandparents. Her father is missing following Omaha Beach, a battle in WWII. Glory Bea is sure her father is still alive. The relationshp the family has is tight and very close....just what you expect for this time period.

Small Town, America---Gilmore Girls type of a town, the kind where
H. Ringer
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lorilei Gonzales
Acting out of character, I had read the synopsis of Blue Skies by Anne Bustard before deciding to read the book. The bit about a boxcar caught my eye because there are a few stories that I have read involving boxcars that I hold very dear in my heart. There were no orphans living or being transported to a new life in this boxcar, but I think that it served as a representation of hope much like those other stories.

The cover of Blue Skies is lovely to look at. The blue is the exact shade of what
Tonja Drecker
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Readers are sure to want to grab up this one and fall in love with a young girl and her amazing outlook on life and dreams.

Glory Bea is ten-years-old and lives in a small, farming town three years after World War II has ended. Unlike every other family in town, her father never returned home after the front in France, and instead, is marked as missing. Her family, including grandparents, have held on to hope, and when there's an announcement of a special train coming into town with gifts from
Blue Skies by Anne Bustard is a coming-of-age story about an 10-year old girl who struggles to cope with the loss of her father who never returned from the war in France over 3-years ago. Her family tells her he died on Omaha Beach, but Glory Bea refuses to give up hope. With her loving grandparents and mama by her side, Glory Bea is hoping one day her father will return and make her family complete once again. From trying to become a professional matchmaker to keeping her mama and her daddy's ...more
Nora St Laurent
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored Glory Bea who loves her father deeply. He never returned home from the front of France. Everyone has told her that he died a hero on Omaha Beach deep down shes convinced hes alive and will make his appearance when the Merci Train comes to their town.

Its been three long years, but Glory Bea believes in miracles. She gets excited about participating in their towns celebration for the arrival of the train. I enjoyed getting to know Glory Beas family, the small town she lived in and how
Reading this book during a pandemic gave me a feeling of hope. I spent the day hearing about fights in grocery stores and then read about Glory Bea's small town. A town where strangers are offered to join the dinner table and everyone knows everyone else's favorite recipe. Set years after WWII Glory Bea is still waiting for her dad to come home from the war. Even though it's been several years you throw logic out the window and start keeping your fingers crossed with her. Glory Bea believes her ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book was not for me. It was saccharine sweet, and spoke to a time and place in which I have little interest. My mother in law is going to absolutely love it, though!

It was well written for what it was, and I did learn something new. The Gratitude Train (for more info, see: was a real thing that I had never heard of before. Might be a useful book for children dealing with the loss
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Harrison
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Blue Skies is a tender read that perfectly captures the belief that anything can happen if you put your mind to it. As a parent, I can see my own daughter mirrored in Glory Bea. Her determination. Her deep love. Her sense of injustice and feelings of hurt and sorrow. They all ring true.

Blue Skies is an exquisite mix of joy and mourning. Glory Beas friends are a bright, sensitive and quirky. And Glory Beas grandparents are a delight. Its a book that will grab you at the beginning, and you wont
Wanda C
I would love to read Blue Eyes. On the Goodreads site, Oct. 18, 2019 I won this book. Much later I notified the site I had never received the book. As of today I still have not received the book. More than happy to read the book and review it because it sounds like it would be a wonderful and exciting book. Still looking forward to receiving Blue eyes. Thanks, I appreciate persons that have this talent of putting everyday words into a beautiful story. Wanda. 2024 S. 18th ...more
Glory Bea believes her daddy will return from the War, even though it has been three years since WWII has ended. Her town has been chosen as a stop for the Merci Train, one of 49 boxcars sent from France to thank the American people, and she just knows her daddy will be on it. This sweet middle grade novel is told from the perspective of the spunky Glory Bea and portrays small town Texas in a way that I believe will capture the attention of young readers. This is one I'll be buying for my ...more
Pam  Page
Oh how I loved this story! Glory Bea is a wonderful character who deeply loves her father who has been missing after WWII for years. Reading about her dreams to be reunited with her father was both uplifting and heartbreaking. The Merci Train was not something I was familiar with and I enjoyed researching that further after reading the book. Kids will be able to view photos of the different states' cars and see where they are housed today, as well as some of the contents of the cars. Anne ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short and sweet. I didn't expect to but, not gonna lie, the last couple pages actually made me shed a few tears. Told from a fifth-grade girl's POV four years after her father goes missing in WWII. It's a little frustrating because I'm seeing it from an older person's POV and couldn't really put myself in the shoes of this twelve (?) year old girl. But the last few pages, when the truth finally comes out, I felt for her. It was cute, though, seeing the world through her lens.
Debbie Tanner
A terrific piece of historical fiction about Glory Bea, who is desperately hoping that her dad will come back from the war in France, where he has been listed as MIA. She's also trying to fix up her best friend with her neighbor and possibly sabotage a new relationship her mom is having. This is a heartwarming story about trying to fix the things you can, how devastating war can be, and how hope is possibly the best thing of all.
Oh, I loved this book. I will warn you that it has sad moments, but the ending makes the read worthwhile, and you will want to keep reading, I promise you. The characters are warm, believable and well developed, the time period soon after the "Good" war (WWII), and the main character is 11 going on 12. I'm so glad I won this book, and it is an ARC, due to come out in April. Look for it. It is based on something that actually took place in Austin, Texas, although not a true story in itself.
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book for youth but it was wonderful. Glory Bea's father didn't return from the war. She still expects him to come home and believes he will return with the Merci boxcar from France. Her dad's best friend from the service ha moved to town and become a VERY close family friend, especially to her mother. It's a coming-of-age story which I really liked. A fast read. I recommend it.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It reminds me a lot of Patricia MacLachlan in that it has some drama but is still a very gentle story. The writing is good and I enjoyed the sprinkling of French throughout. Even though it takes place after WWII, I think kids today can relate to Glory Bea because many of them were born while America has been at war and continues to be so. I liked the romantic elements as well. The family dynamics were realistic and comforting. I'd hand this to a child who enjoys ...more
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Born and raised in Hawaii, with a few years in California sandwiched in between, Anne Bustard moved to Texas to attend college and stayed. A former elementary school teacher and then bookseller, she co-owned Toad Hall Children's Bookstore in Austin, Texas. Her innovative summer writing program for children earned her the Lucile Micheels Pannell Award.

After selling her interest in the bookstore,

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