First-Year Text: The World According to Fannie Davis

Jacket art

Borrow the Ebook from the New York Public Library

How to find out if one of the 8 copies is available for borrowing:

  1. Make sure that you have a New York Public Library card (any NY resident can get one here)
  2. Download the SimplyE app from New York Public Library (instructions here)
  3. Using the SimplyE app, search for the book to find an available copy.

Discussion Questions

  1. Are there similarities and/or differences in the social issues of today when compared to the social climate of Detroit in the 1960s?
  2. Throughout the text the phrase, "Dying is easy. Living takes guts," is used. How is this true for the life of Fannie Davis? 
  3. What life lessons did Fannie teach Bridgett or what recurring themes come to mind as you read through the book?
  4. What is it with the shoes? What was Ms. Miller implying when asking Bridgett about her shoes? What lessons did Bridgett’s mother teach her that day when she took her to purchase the pair of yellow patent leather shoes? 
  5. In what ways did Fannie help others improve their situation? 
  6. “We used to call it Grand Central Station; it was years before I learned that was a real place in New York.” Why was the Davis’ home referred to as Grand Central Station?
  7. In the book, the author explains how she felt about telling her mother’s story. On page 24, she writes of the secrets her family kept of their mother’s livelihood. The author notes, “[T]hat word secret is so loaded, suggests its country cousin, shame; but I wasn’t ashamed of anything because our family secret wasn’t dark, and my mother acted neither apologetic nor embarrassed.”
    • How did Fannie’s behavior influence the way her daughter understood their secret?
    • How did Fannie act with integrity when keeping the secret of numbers?

Reviews of the Book

Interviews with Bridgett Davis