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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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3,3831471,604 (4.14)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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    One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine (foggidawn)
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Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
The Watsons Go To Birmingham is a wonderful story about a quirky family that makes their way down south to visit their grandmother in a time of great racial prejudice. The book, on the outset, seems like a lighthearted tale of the "Weird Watsons" taking a trip in their "Brown Bomber", with the hilarious acting father playing DJ with their "Ultra-Glide" record player, but little do they know that they are headed towards a very important, but dark time in racial history. ( )
  jmitra1 | Dec 3, 2014 |
I am not a huge fan of this book. I was expecting the story to include more of the Watsons actually in Birmingham, however I was disappointed that the story was mostly their trip there. The story is funny in the beginning, telling the personalities of the characters but then the story just got boring to me. I found it very hard to finish this book. The timeline of this book does not fit with the actual historical events that were occurring, however i don't think that the targeted audience will notice this. I found myself bored with this book because it lacked a plot and conflict other than within the family. However, the last two chapters or so of this book are the ones that i found interesting and better written. I would not recommend this book only because i did not really enjoy it.
  lfasce1 | Dec 2, 2014 |
This book was not my favorite. I found it to be tedious and drag on a bit. I liked the concept of the story, but I thought it would have more to do with civil rights and racism than the family itself. It was about a family, the Watson's, and how they ended up going to Birmingham Alabama and how it brought them together as a family. It was the parent's and their three children, Joey, Kenny, and Byron. Joey was the youngest daughter, Kenny was the middle awkward smart child, and Byron was the teenager who thought he was too cool for everything. Byron had been acting up and being a "juvenile delinquent" when his parent's decided it would be best for him to spend the summer in Birmingham to "straighten him out" with his grandmother. The whole family went there to take Byron, but one morning on their trip when Joey was a church, someone bombed the church she was in and everything changed. Kenny had seen the inside of the church while looking for Joey and was very scarred from it, even though Joey was alright. After that, the whole family went back to their home in Michigan and Kenny started acting very strange. He would go into the "world famous Watson pet hospital" behind his couch and barely come out except to go to the bathroom. This started to worry the family, and one day Byron finally said something o him. It was a touching moment for two brothers, and brought them together. This was where the story ended, and I didn't exactly like the ending because I didn't see the point of it. I did like the language in the story because I could picture the characters perfectly because of the slang they used while talking to each other. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book to someone because I personally didn't like it. I think if it had more action in it and more of a purpose then I would have enjoyed it more. ( )
  lgrube4 | Nov 28, 2014 |
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 |
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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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