Sweet Justice : Georgia Gillmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Random House Studio, 2022. 9781524720643
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Format : Hardcover picture book
Genre : Biography
What did you like about the book? This taste of the entire year of the Montgomery bus boycott is focused on the important contributions one woman made in sustaining that battle. Clever and appropriate cooking metaphors add spice to the information about how food unexpectedly became one of the most important weapons in this fight for justice. Georgia has been making the long walk home after every work day, refusing to take the bus before Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King arrive. Her continued support of both Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King eventually resulted in her being fired from her cooking job but she did not give up. Acting on a suggestion by MLK who has been admiring and purchasing a lot of her crispy chicken and sweet potato pies, she established the “Club From Nowhere”, which allowed people to remain anonymous while sustaining the fight for justice.
A smiling Georgia stirring up some “good trouble” appears on the cover and red skillets fill the end papers. Buttery yellows and rich browns appear on many pages and do a good job of portraying both people and outdoor/indoor spaces such as churches, courts, and kitchens. Additional information about Georgia appears at the end of the book.
Anything you did not like about the book? While not necessary …a small wish that her children appeared in one of the illustrations. That she accomplished so much while raising a family of six is remarkable.
To whom would you recommend this book? Children in first grade and above
Who should buy this book? Public and school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Biographies
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, a good example of how even people not making speeches or being jailed can make a big difference.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Stephanie Wolflink former head of children’s services, Winchester Public Library, MA
Date of review: February 17, 2022