Pies from nowhere How Georgia Gilmore sustained the Montgomery bus boycott

Dee Romito

Book - 2018

"Georgia decided to help the best way she knew how. She worked together with a group of women and together they purchased the supplies they needed--bread, lettuce, and chickens. And off they went to cook. The women brought food to the mass meetings that followed at the church. They sold sandwiches. They sold dinners in their neighborhoods. As the boycotters walked and walked, Georgia cooked and cooked. 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"--

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Picture books
New York, NY : little bee books [2018]
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unnumbered pages) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
K to Grade 3.
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Dee Romito (author)
Other Authors
Laura (Illustrator) Freeman (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Georgia Gilmore was working as a cook at a segregated lunch counter in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, when she heard that another African American woman, Rosa Parks, had been arrested. A local bus boycott was quickly organized, but Georgia wanted to do more. After hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak in a nearby church, she joined a group of women who raised money for the boycott movement by secretly selling homemade sandwiches, dinners, and pies. Later, because she testified in court about mistreatment by bus drivers, Georgia lost her job. But with Dr. King's encouragement, she began to cook for other people in her home, supporting herself while providing a gathering place for civil rights workers. Romito tells Gilmore's story in a concise, straightforward way and suggests some of the indignities faced by black people in the segregated South. Using bold colors and clearly delineated forms, Freeman's strong digital illustrations heighten the story's quiet power. While this historical picture book includes the two best-known figures in the civil rights movement, it is most notable for celebrating the life and contributions of a little-known person who, like so many, many others, put herself at risk to further the cause she believed in.--Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Romito focuses on little-known civil rights activist Georgia Gilmore, a cook at the National Lunch Company in segregated Montgomery, Ala. Inspired by Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her bus seat and the subsequent bus boycott, Gilmore organized a group of women to cook and sell food in their neighborhoods ("People always had to eat. So I made pies"). The proceeds secretly helped fund the boycott. Romito emphasizes how their venture came with risks; to protect the buyers and makers, Gilmore had people pay in cash and refused to divulge the names of the cooks and bakers, saying, "It came from nowhere." Freeman creates bold compositions comprising the food, its makers, and even Martin Luther King Jr., who assisted Gilmore in starting her own cooking business. Romito concludes with the news of the Supreme Court outlawing bus segregation-followed by a suggestion that more work was to be done: "Georgia Gilmore kept right on cooking." Ages 6-9. (Nov.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Romito retells the life story of Georgia Gilmore, a woman whose pies and delicious homemade cooking helped sustain the Montgomery bus boycott. Nicknamed "the Club from Nowhere," Gilmore along with a team of women risked their jobs to build a network wherein people from the community could financially aid the boycott through the purchase of her pies (Gilmore donated her profits to the Montgomery Improvement Association). The book ends with the Supreme Court decision that segregation on buses is unconstitutional and Gilmore is shown continuing to bake-as the fight for civil rights would wage on. The text emphasizes for young readers how important Gilmore's contributions were to the civil rights movement, including her work with Martin Luther King Jr. and her testimony in court on discrimination on buses. Bold and richly colored illustrations give life to Gilmore and her iconic pies. The detailed back matter, which includes Gilmore's recipe for homemade pound cake, makes this picture book a well-rounded nonfiction read. VERDICT A winning addition to libraries that serve young readers.-Molly -Dettmann, Norman North High School, OK © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

This lively picture book tells the story of an unsung hero of the 19551956 Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which African Americans protested segregation after the arrest of Rosa Parks by refusing to ride city buses. Georgia Gilmore led a group of women who raised money by making and selling foodprepared lunches and dinners, pies and cakesthe proceeds of which they donated to the boycotts funders. The women operated in secretif their identities or those of their customers were made public, theyd lose their jobsand so became known as the Club from Nowhere. Gilmores donations were vital to sustaining the boycott and providing African Americans alternatives to the busesenabling the purchase of cars, repairs, and gas. Romito tells the story clearly, including many details about the operation of the club and incorporating occasional quotes in Gilmores own voice (referring to civil rights leaders habit of gathering at her house for meals and meetings: I just served em and let em talk). Freeman (illustrator of Fancy Party Gowns, rev. 1/17) portrays Gilmore as a woman full of spirit, pride, and determination; her big personality shines through. The books emphasis on how small actions can make a big difference is age-appropriate, nicely geared to a primary-grade audience. An authors note provides more information about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Club from Nowhere, and Gilmore; the back matter also includes source notes and a recipe (on the endpapers) for Georgia Gilmores Homemade Pound Cake. martha v. Parravano (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Despite significant danger to themselves, Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere raised support for the Montgomery bus boycott.Georgia Gilmore was an excellent cook and baker. The third-person narrator explains that when Rosa Parks was jailed, Georgia had already been boycotting the Montgomery buses (due to mistreatment from drivers) for two months. Tired of injustice, when the citywide boycott began, Georgia wanted to support the cause. So she made use of her remarkable culinary skills: Along with other women, she cooked and baked, donating their sales to the cause. To avoid retribution, the proceeds were donated anonymously. The boycott is explained simplyeven children with no prior knowledge of segregation or the civil rights movement will be able to follow the story with little exposition. Though Georgia eventually faced retaliation, she remained true to her beliefs and became an entrepreneur, creating a safe meeting space for civil rights leaders. The text placement sometimes feels clunky, and some of the single-page spreads can feel confusing in juxtaposition (though the art is otherwise well-executed). Despite these minor flaws, the message that, like Georgia, everyone can find a place in the fight for social justice is clear. Pair with Monica Clark-Robinson and Frank Morrison's Let the Children March (2017) and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Jade Johnson's Someday Is Now (2017) or other titles that highlight lesser-known figures for a fuller understanding of the civil rights movement.Empowering. (sources, author's note, recipe) (Informational picture book. 6-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.