The Glory Field
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a stunning portrait of the progress of black Americans, as courageous teenagers escape slavery and combat prejudice and, later, drug addiction. The family's close ties give its members strength. Each simple but compelling story makes characters come alive and keeps readers involved. Although the book is long, it's divided into stories, making it easy to read.
What's the story?
This captivating saga of one black family takes readers on a journey from slavery to modern times. The book features teenagers from five generations, each undergoing a crisis that leads them to maturity. The collection of stories is compelling. Together they present a dynamic portrait of the progress of black people in the United States. A riveting, important book for all Americans.
In 1753, ten-year-old Muhammad is chained in the hold of a slave ship. In 1864 thirteen-year-old Lizzie escapes from slavery. After the war the family receives the Glory Field as their own farm. In 1900, they struggle to pay their taxes, and fifteen-year-old Elijah earns the money by saving a blind white boy. In 1930, his sixteen-year old daughter, Luvenia, is fired from her job in Chicago but decides to start her own business.
Back in South Carolina in 1964, sixteen-year-old Tommy, who has a chance to become the first black to enroll in the local state college, loses the opportunity when he stages a demonstration for civil rights. In 1994, Luvenia gives money to Malcolm to attend the family reunion, but Malcolm has difficulty trying to travel with his crack-addicted cousin, Shep. In South Carolina, Malcolm helps bring in the last crop from the Glory Field and learns his family's history.
Is it any good?
THE GLORY FIELD weaves together five stories to tell the powerful tale of a strong family living on the land that their slave ancestors had worked and came to own. Each story keeps readers involved, from Lizzie's exciting escape from slavery and Elijah's battle against a storm to Malcolm's trip from New York to South Carolina with his drug-addicted cousin.
The book introduces a wide range of characters and attitudes. While many incidents of white prejudice occur, Walter Dean Myers also presents whites who want justice for their black neighbors. Readers discover the fates of later generations of teenage characters as the stories progress. Tommy dies in Vietnam, and Luvenia becomes a wealthy businesswoman. The strong, capable Lewis family endures with Malcolm as its future.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about family history and obligation.
How does the larger family influence the individual character's decisions?
Does your family have a valued, shared possession -- land, an object, a story -- like the Glory Field?