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The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by…
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The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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3,3571441,619 (4.15)60
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    Iron Thunder (I Witness) by Avi (jacqueline065)
    jacqueline065: I was reminded of the historical accout when I read this book. For Historical Fiction Lovers
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I thought that this was a good book, but it wasn't my favorite by Christopher Paul Curtis. This is a book about a boy named Kenny and his family leaving for Birmingham, Alabama, to drop off the older brother who has been trouble. I really liked that this book really showed what the times were like in this era of American history and what it was like to be an African American family during this time.

Christopher Paul Curtis did a really good job describing what everything was like that happened to the family. I loved the part when Kenny and the family are just getting to the grandma's house. The way that the grandma was described was hilarious and I think that this was my favorite part of the book. I also liked how the author showed how the family was affected by segregation during this time as well.

Overall, I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about American history during the Civil Rights Era or anyone who loves to read. ( )
  sreinh2 | Nov 24, 2014 |
This book is a realistic / historical fiction chapter book for 4th graders. This book had a lot of main ideas and messages. Most had to do with the negatives of segregation and showcase the hostility and anger from some people during this time period. It was also showcasing some family values and how family sticks together through thick and through thin. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in America's history because it was focused on the time period without being too intrusive. Meaning, there were a lot of other things going on in the book. ( )
  nhassa3 | Nov 24, 2014 |
This was an enjoyable read. The "Weird Watsons" are a funny, quirky, everyday family from the 60s. The book depicts the reality of life for African American's during the Civil Rights Movement. This book is fiction, but has lots of realistic depictions in it. The humor that the authors uses is a great hook to the book. For example, right in the beginning when Byron gets his lips frozen stuck to the mirror and Kenny and the rest of the family think that it's hilarious. The text is an easy read and the story keeps the reader motivated to keep on reading. I think the author has described and developed the characters well and seemingly keeps the story alive with truth and honesty. I definitely recommend this book. ( )
  abrozi1 | Nov 23, 2014 |
The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963
Bryan O'Keeffe

This book was completely different than anything I have really read before. I am not used to reading books about a black family during the civil rights era. I was very excited to start reading this book. This book was a chapter book an had no illustrations however I felt that if there were some the story would have been a little easier to read and even picture in my mind. I felt that the story was not as descriptive as it should have been and was very vague. The only descriptive part of the book was when the church was bombed. I was able to imagine that scene very clearly. I did feel however that the Watson family was extremely believable. Every family is weird in some sort of way and has their own little things. Kenny, Joetta and Byron seemed like a normal set of kids where one happens to be the kid who gets into a lot of trouble. I felt that the plot of the story seemed to plateau for a while. Byron was getting in trouble in Michigan, but I felt that the family should have gone to Alabama sooner the story may have been a little better. I did enjoy the theme of friendship in this book, I think every young reader should read this book. ( )
  bokeef2 | Nov 18, 2014 |
in my opinion this book was just ok. There were parts I enjoyed and found myself smiling because I could relate to that experience. I think the book would be great to use when talking about civil rights. The writing was simple and easy to follow. The characters were believable and made me think I could actually know someone like some of the characters. The story was written in first person with Kenny as the narrator. The book forces readers to think about issues that they may or may not face in this day. It will broaden their perspectives because it focuses on racism and civil rights. The plot was organized and each chapter flowed right into the next. ( )
  ssmith93 | Nov 12, 2014 |
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Epigraph
In memory of
Addie Mae Collins
Born 4/18/49, died 9/15/63
Denise McNair
Born 11/17/51, died 9/15/63
Carole Robertson
Born 4/24/49, died 9/15/63
Cynthia Wesley
Born 4/30/49, died 9/15/63
the toll for one day in one city
Dedication
This book is dedicated to my parents, Dr. Herman and Leslie Lewis Curtis, who have given their children both roots and wings and encouraged us to soar; my sister, Cydney Eleanor Curtis, who has been unfailingly supportive, kind and herself; and above all to my wife, Kaysandra Anne Sookram Curtis, who has provided a warmth and love that have allowed me to laugh, to grow and, most importantly, to dream.
First words
It was one of those super-duper-cold Saturdays.
Quotations
"Some of the time I wondered if something really was wrong with me. Byron had just told me that someone had dropped a bomb on Joey's church, hadn't he? If that was true why was I only thinking about how much trouble By was going to be in when they heard how loud he'd slammed the screen door, and asking myself why hadn't he put on his shoes? His socks wouldn't last two minutes on the Alabama mud."
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A family story, both comic and moving, touches on the frightening times of the early civil rights movement.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 044022800X, Mass Market Paperback)

The year is 1963, and self-important Byron Watson is the bane of his younger brother Kenny's existence. Constantly in trouble for one thing or another, from straightening his hair into a "conk" to lighting fires to freezing his lips to the mirror of the new family car, Byron finally pushes his family too far. Before this "official juvenile delinquent" can cut school or steal change one more time, Momma and Dad finally make good on their threat to send him to the deep south to spend the summer with his tiny, strict grandmother. Soon the whole family is packed up, ready to make the drive from Flint, Michigan, straight into one of the most chilling moments in America's history: the burning of the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church with four little girls inside.

Christopher Paul Curtis's alternately hilarious and deeply moving novel, winner of the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Honor, blends the fictional account of an African American family with the factual events of the violent summer of 1963. Fourth grader Kenny is an innocent and sincere narrator; his ingenuousness lends authenticity to the story and invites readers of all ages into his world, even as it changes before his eyes. Curtis is also the acclaimed author of Bud, Not Buddy, winner of the Newbery Medal. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:37 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

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