Here’s a book I just became aware of and wanted to share as a Perfect Picture Book Friday recommendation. It’s the story of how one person can make a difference, about an unsung heroine, about the people behind the scenes of social change.
Title: Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Written by: Dee Romito
Illustrated by: Laura Freeman
Little Bee Books, 2018
Suitable for ages: 7-12
Themes/topics: segregation, civil rights, initiative
When Georgia Gilmore was a young girl, she lived on a farm in Alabama where she fed the pigs and milked the cows. Georgia did her best to listen to what her mother taught her: Think twice before doing anything you might regret, and never, ever hate anyone.
Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus boycotts broke out in Montgomery after Rosa Parks was arrested, Georgia knew just what to do. She organized a group of women who cooked and baked to fund-raise for gas and cars to help sustain the boycott. Called the Club from Nowhere, Georgia was the only person who knew who baked and bought the food, and she said the money came from “nowhere” to anyone who asked. When Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for his role in the boycott, Georgia testified on his behalf, and her home became a meeting place for civil rights leaders. This picture book highlights a hidden figure of the civil rights movement who fueled the bus boycotts and demonstrated that one person can make a real change in her community and beyond. It also includes one of her delicious recipes for kids to try with the help of their parents!
Activities and Resources:
Think about the Montgomery Bus Boycott. What were some other jobs that needed to be done to help sustain the boycott for 381 days? If you were alive at that time, what would you have done to help?
Creative Writing: Think about some key terms like boycott, desegregation, justice, civil rights and more. What are the “ingredients” of these ideas? What actions need to be taken? Write a “recipe” for a key idea involved in the process of social justice and change.
Why I like this book:
Stories about people behind the scenes in historical events help us understand that there are roles for all of us no matter our skillset or personality. So many unseen people behind the scenes do vital work to support others and causes and bring about social change. This is a wonderful story of how one woman used her love of cooking to support community efforts. When people rise to the task, they find more within themselves than they knew. Georgia Gilmore is an inspiring role model for us all. And you can’t help but wish you could have tasted some of her cooking!
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.