Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Enemy Pie by Derek MunsonISBN: 9780811827782

Who doesn’t have an enemy? And who wouldn’t just loooove to feed them something toxic?! But pie? Who would give something as delicious as pie to their enemy?

In celebration of World Food Day today (to create awareness of and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all), we read a book titled Enemy Pie, by Derek Munson, about another type of healthy food…

When a little boy asks his dad advice on how to deal with his enemy, Jeremy Ross, his dad suggests they bake Enemy Pie. He scratches out an old recipe, but it is such a secret that no matter how hard the boy tries, his dad cannot tell him what the ingredients are. So he wonders, just what kinds of things (disgusting things) would go into Enemy Pie? Maybe garden weeds, or earthworms, or rocks, or the gum he’s been chewing all morning? And what does the pie do to the enemy? Does it make their hair fall out? Does it make their breath smell bad? Or does it maybe make bullies cry? But the only thing his dad shares with him, is the secret to making the pie work, that is, to get rid of his enemy. Will the boy succeed in feeding Jeremy Enemy Pie? What will happen if Jeremy finds out that his name is on the Enemy List? And what will happen if the boy has a change in heart? How does he stop Jeremy from eating Enemy Pie?

This is a lovely picture book “with an effective message about how to handle relationships and conflict”, and how to make friends out of the most unusual prospects.

The Intermediates at Thorntree Prep had some fun “building” their own “Enemy Pie” during our Book Club Hour today.

During a quick activity, they could write down anything they’d put in a pie for their enemy:
dog poop from the garden, a nice crispy shongololo, a bunch of wet bird poop, poison, G Bom leafs, worms, old cake from 1947, stinking shoes, “his biggest fear”, cow poop, donkey tail, rats, termites, paint, toothpaste, mafele’s (cockroaches), donkey poop & cheese, pee, suicide pills, grass, sewage water, chocolate that “vrot” (rot), dead chicken, Doom, rotten eggs, moth wings, beetles, perfume to disguise the smell, toe nails, expired milk, old skin, glass, rabies, a dead snake, baby puke, stinky blood, spiders…

These kids mean business!
… with one exception: chocolate chips with jam and sprinkles!

The objective of the lesson was to learn about

  • what it means to be a good friend
  • communication skills
  • words that help or hurt friendships
  • conflict resolution
  • acceptance
  • respect
  • responsibility
  • forgiveness
  • how jealousy, possessiveness, bullying, and exclusion can cause one to become an “enemy”
  • not to judge a book by it’s cover, and what happens when you give a person the benefit of the doubt (learning about Questioning and Problem posing – Habits of Mind #7 – to question how things work and why they work that way, why people act the way they do, why we feel the way we do, answering the question “How do you know?” – gathering data based on facts).

It is the only exercise we are NOT supposed to do: running others down, stretching the truth, and jumping to conclusions. We should base our actions and decisions on facts.

After the discussion, the kids had another opportunity to write what they’d put into their enemy pie at this time, and even though some still struggled with some “enemy” feelings, most kids wrote positive, yummy ingredients, including:

strawberries, cranberries, chocolate, ice cream, candies, gummy worms, sour gum, salt and sugar, blueberries, apples, peaches, mint, toothpaste (just for fun), cake, sprinkles, jam, custard, orange juice, pee and jam, yoghurt, beef, wors (sausage), brooklax, things?, whipped cream, granadilla…

And one learner decided he’d make it half-half – one side of the pie will contain poison, the other half strawberries – just for in case his “enemy” upsets him again (doesn’t change)!

The kids also learned about dramatic irony and perspective in literature.




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