Anna Staniszewski, Augusta Scattergood, Book Giveaway, Book Reviews, Glory Be, Mary Ann Rodman, Yankee Girl

Reviews of Glory Be and Yankee Girl plus a Book Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”~Hans Hofmann, painter~
Some Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Click HERE for a fun little article telling about odd jobs some great authors had before they got their big breaks.

Randy Ingermanson has a terrific post on making your characters sound different from each other in dialog. Click HERE to read it. 
Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman have sage advice about the difference between Conflict & Tension. Not to be missed by writers. Click HERE
We have a WINNER! Nancy will be receiving a copy of The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones very soon. Congratulations, Nancy, and thanks for being a reader of my blog. I’ll be sending out the book this week. If you did not win, stay tuned. There will be another giveaway at the end of this post.

I have spent the past couple of days in the Deep South of the 1960s thanks to the wonderful time machine called Books. When I recently attended the Highlights workshop, one of our instructors was Augusta Scattergood, author of the widely acclaimed Glory Be. It was an absolute treat to spend time with her. She is a lovely and gracious person. A few weeks ago, Carol Baldwin wrote about a book, Yankee Girl, on her wonderful blog called (wait for it) Carol Baldwin’s Blog! If you missed her review (and giveaway that I did NOT win – 8-{ ), you can check it out HERE. After reading about it, I decided it needed to go right near the top of my TBR list. So this weekend, I was going to be spending a lot of time in a car (winter baseball tournament), so I took them both along and read them. Both are set in Mississippi in 1964 and have some things in common, but also have many differences.

Yankee Girl is set in Jackson, MS against the backdrop of the the beginning of school integration.

Alice Anne Moxley has just moved to Jackson because her father, an FBI agent has been transferred there to help with the expected violent reactions to the integration. Alice, a transplanted Yankee, is not welcomed in her new school. The kids pretty much shun her and refer to her as a Yankee, clearly a terrible insult. But Alice has no idea how bad in could be until Valerie Taylor, daughter of an African-American clergyman, comes into her class. Author Mary Ann Rodman, herself the daughter of an FBI agent who moved to Jackson in 1964, pulls no punches in this book and uses the vernacular of the local citizens in her fine book. It is a true coming-of-age story steeped in the history of its setting. This is a terrific read for anyone from middle grades on up.

Augusta Scattergood
Glory Be is set in a small town in Mississippi, also in 1964. Gloriana Hemphill is eleven, but very close to her twelfth birthday. All of her birthdays since she could swim at a very young age have been celebrated with a party at the community pool. Glory is upset that no one seems interesting in helping her plan for her party, especially that her older sister Jesslyn is too busy to care. Now it is less than two weeks before that auspicious day, and Glory hears the pool is going to be closed. The official story is it is closing for repairs, but it is well-known around town it is being closed to avoid having it integrated. A new girl in town, Laura, is visiting for the summer from way up north in Ohio with her mother who has come to help set up a free clinic for the poor in town. Being with Laura is a real eye-opener for Glory, and the time and happenings in the town set Glory on a path to a fast spate of growing up. The writing is simply terrific, as is the story. I was absolutely transported by this book. I recommend it highly. I promise you will not regret this choice for your precious reading time. 

I borrowed Yankee Girl from the library and Augusta Scattergood autographed her book to my granddaughter Gracie, so I cannot give either of these wonderful books away. However, I promised a giveaway, so here you go. Anna Staniszewski wrote a very funny and clever book called My Very Unfairy Tale Life. I have a gently-read copy I am offering to one of my U. S. readers who is a follower (it’s free and easy – check to the right) and leaves a comment on this post, so do that. If you post my link on some social media or tweet it, let me know and you will get your name in the hat an extra time.

Don’t forget to check out all the Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday books at Shannon Messenger’s blog which you can find by clicking HERE.


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