February 15, 2020

Pies from Nowhere by Dee Romito illustrated by Laura Freeman

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 10:05 pm by suebe2

Pies from Nowhere
by Dee Romito
illustrated by Laura Freeman
Little Bee Books

At the time of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company.  Georgie cooked at the customers sat in one section or the other.  One side of the lunch counter was for whites.  The other side was for black customers.  Georgia had been treated badly by bus drivers.  Many people had.  So she decided that she wanted to help.  But she wanted to do more than boycott the buses.

Georgia and a group of women cooked and cooked.  They brought dinners to the meetings.  They sold sandwiches and dinners.  The women were afraid that they would lose their jobs so Georgia hid their identities.  When she turned in the money, people asked where it came from and she told them nowhere.  The women became known as the Club from Nowhere.

The food paid for gasoline.  People who didn’t ride the buses still needed to get to work so carpools were organized.  The women even bought cars for the carpools.

When the National Lunch Company found out that Georgia was taking part in the boycott, they didn’t care what a good cook she was.  She lost her job.  Georgia started her own business, cooking and feeding the people who came to her home.

Freeman’s illustrations help bring this story to life.  The bright colors of the women’s clothing offsets the warm browns of the pies and pound cake baked by Georgia.

Many of the women who worked in the Civil Right movement are unsung.  With this book, Romito gives one of them a voice.  Recently, I saw a TED Talk about the myth of Rosa Parks.  I was glad to see that Romito told Parks’ story vs the less threatening story in which she was simply too tired to give up her seat.  These people were fighting for their rights and that is clear in this book.

Definitely a book that should be on classroom shelves and in school libraries.  Share this with your young reader and use it as a jumping off point to discuss Civil Rights and the parts that various people played in the fight.

–SueBE

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