REVIEWTwelve-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 the Freedom Riders arrive, life changes for Glory and for the citizens of Hanging Moss. The pool is closed to prevent desegregation and relationships are challenged among townsfolk with differing beliefs about race. Through the events that unfold over the summer and through self-reflection, Glory learns a life lesson on acceptance and hate.
Scattergood's story is engrossing, as the reader observes Glory mature from a happy-go-lucky girl with a stubborn streak into a more aware character making tough choices during a confusing time. Although the story is set in small-town Mississippi during the Civil Rights Era, and although the plot's catalyst is the arrival of the Freedom Riders, the story's main focus is on human relationships and integrity.
CONNECTIONSThis novel provides readers with numerous self-reflection journal prompts on how they would react to different situations presented in the novel. It also serves as a catalyst for research projects on different aspects of the Civil Rights Movement.
RELATED BOOKSOther novels for young readers on racial tension in the 1960s:
Williams-Garcia, Rita. ONE CRAZY SUMMER. ISBN 9780060760908
Curtis, Christopher Paul. THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINHAM. ISBN 9780440228004
By Jennifer E. M. Richey