Saturday, March 31, 2012

GLORY BE by Augusta Scattergood

 A few years ago I threw out an invitation (see sidebar) for my readers, to guest blog for me occasionally.   Augusta Scattergood took me up on the offer. 
As a former librarian, Augusta knows books. I quickly learned that she would point me to some great reads.

But all the while, she was also working on a book of her own - a story born out of her love for the south and inspired by memories of life in Mississippi. And just look at that cover!
Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood is thick with the humidity and history of Mississippi  in the summer of 1964 (also known as Freedom Summer).  Gloriana Hemphill (Glory) is about to turn 12.  Which means, of course, that she intends to have her birthday party at the local swimming pool. As usual.

But "as usual" doesn't exist in Hanging Moss, Mississippi.   Freedom workers (known to some as "outside agitators") have come from up north, intent on changing the status quo.  Their mission is to urge racial equality in public spaces - such as the library and the swimming pool.

Certain locals, (like Glory's best friend's father) do not intend to let that happen.  So the swimming pool closes on the pretense of needing repairs.  Uh-oh!  Birthday disaster on the horizon! Not to mention, a little strain on Glory's best friendship.

To make matters worse - Jesslyn, Glory's sister has outgrown her - a change which Glory refuses to take sitting down. (If there's action, Glory is one of those characters who will get in on it.)  While spying on Jessalyn and her boyfriend, Glory discovers information which leads eventually to a dangerous situation.  She doesn't handle everything perfectly but she does form strong opinions, learns to speak up  for civil rights,  and intercedes for one threatened individual.

Scattergood, who originally hailed from Mississippi, is clearly writing her native tongue as she gives voice to Glory.  The reader gets a vivid sense of time and place as well as a look at one important summer in American history.  There are plenty of sobering reminders here but the story is also chocked full of nostalgia and childhood pleasures.

Congratulations to Augusta on a story that introduces young readers to the historic  events of 1964  while giving the rest of us a reason to look back!

Augusta's blog is a potpourri of books, food, quotes, and  author updates.  Her website provides you with resources, Q & A, and author info.


  1. Joyce,
    I enjoyed reading this book. Carol mentioned it earlier and I checked it out. Thanks to both of you for spotlighting good reads. This was also a nice way to repay Augusta Scattergood for writing an earlier guest post. Nice gesture, Joyce.

  2. Congratulations to Augusta Scattergood! GLORY BE is in my reading stack. It just got moved a little closer to the top! (I love her name--it's always a nice reminder to "scatter good"!!

  3. Got it in my email too. i was worried there for a moment!

  4. Joyce, I appreciate the way you keep us posted on great historical fiction! This is another on my to-read list. I heard a wonderful NPR interview with Augusta that your readers can listen to at this link:

    Looking forward to your next post.

  5. Thanks, all for stopping by.

    Carol, so glad your RSS is working.
    Peggy thanks for sharing the NPR link. I should've thought to include that. I listened to it earlier. Great interview!

  6. This sounds like such an interesting book, I think I will definitely have to read it. Great review, Joyce.

  7. I've been hearing a lot about this one and can't wait to read it. Thanks for sharing, Joyce.

  8. Another one to add to my list of best contemporay historical fiction, possibly. Can't wait to check it out.


  9. Thank you for sharing my book, Joyce. And thanks for all the comments, everybody. It's a joy to connect with fellow fans of historical fiction, history, and all the interesting things Joyce highlights on her blog.

  10. You're very welcome Augusta! And thanks to all of you for stopping by!

  11. Hi Augusta Scattergood! My school and I really like your books and I just wanted to see if you were able to visit. My school and I would be very happy to have you over!
    Thank You,
    Your Book Fan