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Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
Cover of Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
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In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the...
In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the...
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  • In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.
    Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities—but not for Glory, who has no plan for what's next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she's never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way...until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person's infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying: A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women's rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she'll do anything to make sure this one doesn't come to pass.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • A.S. King has been called "One of the best Y.A. writers working today" by the New York Times Book Review and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. King is the author of novels including the 2020 Michael L. Printz Award-winning Dig.,Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Ask the Passengers, and 2011 Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz, among others. Her most recent release, Switch, has been called "a work of literary genius" by Booklist. She is a faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts and spends many months of the year traveling the country speaking to high school students about trauma, emotions, and red velvet cake. After many years living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives in Pennsylvania. Find more at www.as-king.com.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine From the moment Glory O'Brien and her friend, Ellie, drink beer mixed with petrified bat ashes, an incredible transformation occurs. "We could see the future. We could see the past. We could see everything." Narrator Christine Lakin makes the magical sound reasonable. When Glory was 4, her mother committed suicide. Now, with high school graduation near, Glory is listless, with no plans for her future. Lakin delivers Glory's first-person narration with all her teenaged poignancy and pathos in place. Glory foresees a dystopian future, a rigid, restrictive nightmare in which a misogynistic government is in power, young women are sold, and women have few rights. Glory writes it all down, determined to awaken society from its lethargy. Lakin's sincere, intelligent performance makes it believable. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 18, 2014
    High school graduation has already prompted Glory O’Brien to confront the chronic malaise she’s felt since her mother’s suicide 13 years earlier. Then she and Ellie, a friend who lives in a hippie commune across the street, swirl the ashes of a mummified bat (you read that right) into their beers, and both girls begin receiving “transmissions” from everyone they encounter: “We could see the future. We could see the past. We could see everything.” From these visions, Glory learns of a second Civil War, set in motion by misogynistic legislation aimed at preventing women from receiving equal pay for equal work. Writing an account of the events she’s learning about from the transmissions helps Glory see a future for yourself and understand the ways in which her mother’s legacy and her father’s love have shaped her into the thoughtful, mature young woman she is. The bizarre bat-swilling episode recedes, revealing a novel full of provocative ideas and sharply observed thoughts about the pressures society places on teenagers, especially girls. Ages 15–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-King returns with another wholly original work of magical realism. This eerie, provocative title centers on Glory O'Brien, on the verge of graduating high school. Though talented and whip-smart, Glory is an outsider whose social interactions are largely limited to her only friend, Ellie, who lives across the street in a commune, and her father, a one-time painter who's been floundering since the suicide of Glory's mother 12 years earlier. Both girls realize they have the power to see the past-and future-of strangers around them, and Glory slowly understands that an incredibly disturbing, Handmaid's Tale-esque future lies in store, with the rights of women and girls being eroded and a second civil war breaking out. The teen is confronted not only by her future but by the past: she fears that she'll go down the same path as her psychologically unstable mother and begins to learn about a falling-out that took place between her parents and Ellie's years ago. As with works such as Ask the Passengers (2012) and Everybody Sees the Ants (2011, both Little, Brown), King has developed an unusual protagonist, yet one with a distinct and authentic voice. Elevating herself above the pack and imbuing her novel with incredible nuance, King artfully laces themes of disintegrating friendship, feminism, and sexuality into the narrative, as well as some provocative yet subtle commentary on the male gaze and the portrayal of women in our culture. This beautifully strange, entirely memorable book will stay with readers.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from September 1, 2014
    An indictment of our times with a soupcon of magical realism. The daughter of a gifted photographer who spun out Sylvia Plath-style, Glory seems bent on following in her mother's footsteps in more ways than one as she finishes high school. But after Glory and her lifelong frenemy and neighbor Ellie make a reckless late-night decision, they are cast headlong into a spell that allows them to see the pasts and the futures of the people who cross their paths, stretching many generations in both directions, and Glory's life changes course. As with King's other protagonists (Please Ignore Vera Dietz, 2010; Reality Boy, 2013), Glory's narration is simultaneously bitter, prickly, heartbreaking, inwardly witty and utterly familiar, even as the particulars of her predicament are unique. The focus on photography provides both apt metaphors and nimble plot devices as Glory starts writing down her visions in order to warn future Americans about the doom she foresees: a civil war incited by a governmental agenda of misogyny. Glory's chilling visions of the sinister dystopia awaiting the United States are uncomfortably believable in this age of frustrated young men filling "Pickup Artist" forums with misogynistic rhetoric and inexperienced young women filling Tumblrs with declarations of "I don't need feminism because...." With any luck, Glory's notebook will inspire a new wave of activists. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from September 15, 2014
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Glory and her best friend, Ellie, drink a bat. They mix its desiccated remains with some warm beer on an impulsive night, and now they see visions of the past and future for everyone they encounter. But Glory's not sure she has a future. She graduated high school with no plans for college, and she's worried that she's doomed to be just like her mom, a talented photographer who killed herself when Glory was only four. The future she sees for others, however, is plagued by misogynistic violence, and when she doesn't see herself or her descendants in any of the visions, she starts rooting around in her mother's darkroom and journals for clues that will help her free herself from a futureless fate. King performs an impressive balancing act here, juggling the magic realism of Glory's visions with her starkly realistic struggle to face her grief, feel engaged with her own life, and learn anything that she can about her mother. Imbuing Glory's narrative with a graceful, sometimes dissonant combination of anger, ambivalence, and hopefulness that resists tidy resolution, award-winning King presents another powerful, moving, and compellingly complex coming-of-age story.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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