de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi

Click here to search for digitized items from this collection

Creator: Faye Gibbons
Title: Faye Gibbons Papers
Dates: [ca. 1970s]-2000
Dates: [bulk 1982-1985]
Quantity: 1.40 cubic feet (5 boxes)
Identification: DG0370

Abstract: The Faye Gibbons Papers contain manuscripts, typescripts, proofs, correspondence, and reviews for two junior books published in 1982 and 1985. Both of these works draw on the author's memories of Georgia mountain life in the 1940s. The author has written several children's books, including a book of ghost stories, all set in the north Georgia mountains she called home.

Biographical Note

Faye Gibbons was born in 1938 in Carter's Quarter, Georgia. She and her four younger siblings grew up in mill towns and mountain areas throughout north Georgia. Lacking the amenities of electricity, the family entertained themselves by storytelling. Gibbons grew up hearing and telling family history stories, hunting yarns, funny stories, and spooky tales. Her parents' suspicions of the government kept Faye from school until she was nine years old. Once at school, however, she discovered a love of books, especially those that introduced her to yet more stories. She began reading stories to her younger brothers and sisters, eventually making up tales of her own. When she graduated from high school her teachers gave Gibbons a $130 scholarship to help pay her tuition to Berry College in Rome, Georgia. After graduating, Gibbons attended Oglethorpe, Emory and Auburn Universities before becoming an elementary and high school teacher.

But it was only after she married and became the mother of two boys that she began to write. From the first, Faye Gibbons' stories have been rooted in her memories of the north Georgia mountains and the country people she knew. Her junior books Mighty Close to Heaven and Some Glad Morning are both about adolescents in 1940s Georgia who must face the realities of broken homes, poverty, and the harshness of rural life. Both stories, however, also reflect the author's appreciation of family, the beauty of nature, and the unending bounty of the land.

Her earliest novel, Some Glad Morning, went through several drafts. Gibbons' frustration with the early manuscripts forced her to temporarily set her story aside. Later, with suggestions made by a William Morrow editor, she renewed her efforts and achieved a flow to her writing. The result was a very successful first book, earning her the 1983 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Children's Literature. Her second publication, Mighty Close to Heaven, like Some Glad Morning, got its title from an old-time gospel hymn, reflecting another early inspiration in Gibbons' life.

Gibbons writes stories for intermediate and younger readers. One popular book is Hook Moon Night, a collection of spooky stories that Gibbons says are mostly original and are based on the ones she heard in the mountains as a child. Her book King Shoes and Clown Pockets, an intermediate reader, made the USA Today Best pick list for 1989. For younger children, Gibbons has written several stories that take place in the early twentieth-century rural mountains. Night in the Barn, a story of four boys who decide to sleep in a barn on a darker-than-dark night was named one of the best children's books of 1995 by both Sesame Street Parents' Guide and Smithsonian Magazine. The colorful children's book Mountain Wedding and its sequel Mama and Me and the Model T tell the hilarious story of what happens when a widowed mother of five marries a wifeless father of seven.

Faye Gibbons and her husband currently live in Deatsville, Alabama.

Scope and Content Note

The Faye Gibbons Papers contain manuscripts, typescripts, proofs, correspondence with her publisher, and reviews for two junior books published in 1982 and 1985. Also included are photocopied book reviews for three titles not included in these papers. The material is organized into two series: personal papers and books. The papers in the book series are arranged alphabetically by title, then chronologically in order of creation.

Mighty Close to Heaven is a story of a boy who runs away from his cheerless grandparents to join his wandering father. The papers contain style sheets, correspondence between Gibbons and William Morrow publishers, and a Faye Gibbons pencil drawing of Dad and Maw's farmhouse. Also included are a corrected typescript and marked proof.

Some Glad Morning went through several revisions. In the earliest drafts family names are different and two of the children are a year younger. Within the early revisions are four chapters not in the final edition. Later drafts focus more on the main character of Maude and increase the importance of Densella and Sam. Later revisions also include a significant alteration of the story ending. The Faye Gibbons Papers contain manuscripts and typescripts edited by the author, with proofs and reviews.

Series and Subseries

A. Personal Papers (1985-2000)
B. Books (1982-1985)

Mighty Close to Heaven (1985)

Some Glad Morning (1982)


Restrictions on Use

Noncirculating; available for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Faye Gibbons Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries.


These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi by Faye Gibbons between 1986 and 2000.

Processing Information

Processed by C. Alder, October 2001. Encoded into EAD Version 1.0 by Danielle L. Bishop. This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Container Listing



Personal Papers

1/1Letters sent from Faye Gibbons to the de Grummond Collection, 2000, ( 2 items)
1/2Biographical news clipping, 1985
1/3Reviews, 1995-1997



Mighty Close to Heaven by Faye Gibbons (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1985)
1/4Production materials, including Gibbons drawing of farmhouse, (5 items)
1/5Typescript, edited by the author, chapter 1-7
1/6Typescript, edited by the author, chapter 8-15
1/7Proof, marked 'Master Set 1st Pass,' 9 October 1984, minor editing, Ch. 1-7
1/8Proof, marked 'Master Set 1st Pass,' 9 October 1984, minor editing, Ch. 8-15
Some Glad Morning by Faye Gibbons (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1982)
2/1Notebook containing partial manuscript of chapter 8
2/2Synopsis of novel, 15 pp.; first manuscript of chapters 1-6, 11-12, 14-15, 21-22, and two unpublished chapters
2/3First typescript, edited by author, (90 pp.)
2/4Photocopy of second typescript, minor editing
2/5Third typescript, chapters 1-3, edited
2/6Fourth typescript, chapters 3-22, edited by author
3/1Photocopy of fifth typescript
3/2Typescript and manuscript chapters 12, 20, 22, and 23 composed after fifth typescript; one page from an unpublished chapter
3/3Letter sent to editor, 4 February 1980, explaining changes in story line; chapter outlines, detailing purpose and events of each chapter [ca. 1980]
3/4This folder contains a complete edited fifth typescript interspersed with nine typescript chapters of later creation. The fifth typescript combined with the added chapters therefore constitutes a sixth typescript.
4/1Two typescript versions of a later created chapter 1
4/2Photocopy of typescript, with author's note "near final manuscript stage," minor editing
Typescript of two unpublished chapters; later typescript of chapter 17
4/4Final typescript, unedited
5/1Planned revisions to final typescript, 6 pp.; photocopied final typescript, minor editing, marked for publication
5/2Proof and front matter, marked 'Master Set 1st Pass,' 4 December 1981
5/3Reviews of Some Glad Morning, 3 items; clipping; letter received from publisher verifying return of original manuscripts and galleys




The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
Comments and Questions

This page created by Instructional Media Unit Webteam and maintained by de Grummond Collection.
Office of Technology Resources
The University of Southern Mississippi
http://www.lib.usm.edu/~degrum/ | Last updated .