This week, we have a guest post from Jeri T., a library patron and BARC participant. In order to fulfill the requirements of the “Everyone’s a Critic” task, Jeri has written a summary/review of Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood. Big thanks to Jeri for providing content. Here is her review:
In Augusta Scattergood’s 2013-2014 Bluebonnet Nominee book, Glory Be, we find Gloriana, a girl of 12, trying to make sense of a changing South during the times of the Civil Rights Movement. The storyline is multi-faceted as Gloriana, or Glory, faces many changes…within her family as her sister enters high school and grows away from being Glory’s playmate and with her relationship with her best friend, Frankie, as he succombs to peer pressure. She also experiences the changes within her community as it struggles to deal with the Civil Rights Movement when Freedom Fighters from the North come to town.
Glory makes friends with a little girl who is the daughter of one of the Freedom Fighters, and she feels the injustices deeply as her new friend is shunned by the community and by her best friend, Frankie. The new girl makes Glory rethink things that she has always assumed by doing simple acts. For example, she drank from the colored persons water fountain and lifted a little black child up to drink from the white fountain. “Why are there separate fountains?” was a question that had never occured to Glory before.
At the beginning of the book, Glory is only concerned about her birthday party. Planning her pool party at her community pool and how many people will remember her birthday and give her gifts are her utmost concerns. As the chapters pass, readers experience with Glory her breakthrough moments such as when she considers her African-American housekeeper’s family and the taxi the housekeeper takes to get home. Throughout the book Glory considers many weighty issues, and matures emotionally and mentally as she comes of age in this era.
Glory Be is a book with the flavor of the South, and not just because of the main theme. It has a slow, Southern drawl to it’s style, with complexity and twists thrown in. This is not a quick beach read, but a book that you will find in your thoughts as the days go on. It has a stated reading level of 4.2, but is rated for an Interest level of Grades 5-7. Because of the topics and depth of this book, I believe the Interest level is appropriately set above the reading level. I predict that this book will not win the Bluebonnet book award this year, but is nonetheless an excellent book worthy of reading with your children.