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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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4,1632311,203 (4.12)69
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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 231 (next | show all)
To say this book was anything less than amazing would be an understatement. First I loved the word choice used by the author. "You're a couple of jive squares!" Curtis Christopher Paul keeps the dialogue authentic which truly transports you back into the time period. Secondly, this book has a powerful message. In the epilogue of the book the author goes on to say, "These are our heroes, and they still walk among us today... One of them may be you." This emotional statement makes the reader feel empowered to make a difference in his/her own life. This story tells how the actions of one individual can change the lives of many. ( )
  kchari2 | Mar 13, 2017 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because the topic was very engaging and meaningful which many students would connect to. I did not enjoy this book as much because of how it was written, and it took awhile to build interest. The first half of the book was a bit slow and did not engage me. One way the book came to life was through the pictures they provided in the middle of the book. They help the reader to connect to the characters which helped with their development. ( )
  epugli2 | Mar 13, 2017 |
I liked this book for two reasons. First, this book pushes readers to think about the issue of racism and how it affects others. This is a good book to open one's eyes to the consequences of racism. One situation with the young girl Joey demonstrates how racism can begin to affect the mindset of children from an early age. Joey feels resentment toward a figurine of an angel because she has been made to believe that all angels are white and black children will be left behind as they are not close to God. This type of fiction may cause the reader to think twice about their actions. Next, I thought that the plot's conflicts and resolutions provided teachable moments about actions and consequences. For instance, Kenny lost a good friend for laughing at jokes that were made about him which taught Kenny to be more sensitive to other people's feelings and to think about the consequences of his actions. Kenny also learned to be more aware of his surroundings and to pay attention to warning signs when he almost drowned in a whirlpool. The overall message of this book is that our actions have consequences and we should keep the well-being of others in mind when choosing our actions. ( )
  gregclemens | Mar 12, 2017 |
I had mixed feeligs about this book after reading it. I liked the book because it did a great job of describing each character and really making them come to life. The book also did a good job of explaining in simple terms what was going on during this time period. Even though the Watson's lived in Michigan, the author made aware what was going on in the South during this time period because that is where Mrs. Watson was born and raised. One of the reasons I had mixed feelings about this book is because I thought the book moved kind of slow throughout the entire book. I thought that the book was going to be more about the family being in Bermingham rather than just the last couple of chapters. The author also focused a lot on the family's road trip down to Bermingham. I believe the author could have spent more time with the family down in Bermingham because a lot of the story was about the civil war and how African Americans were treated in the South during this time. ( )
  kblanc2 | Feb 27, 2017 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the character development of Kenny and his family, you learned a lot about each character and the family dynamic. I also enjoyed the language that was used; it reflected how the characters said the words instead of writing them in proper English. For example, when they start their journey down to Birmingham Kenny asks his dad why they have to have scheduled stops and can't just drive until he gets tired and his dad replies in a hillbilly accent saying “ ‘Cuz, boy, this he-uh is the deep South you-all is gonna be drivin’ thoo. Y’all colored folks ain’t be jes’ pullin’ up tuh any ol’ way-uh an be ‘spectin’ tuh get no room uh no food, yuh heah, boy?” this kind of language makes the book more authentic and makes the reader feel as if they are there. But I did not like this book because the first half and second half of the book do not seem to have any connection. The second half of the book focuses on serious matters and civil rights movement in Alabama but the first half is mostly character development in Michigan. The civil rights parts of the book did not seem to fit into the plot and then did not get brought up as much as I though it should have. I believe the big idea or message was about the civil rights movement and how it affected African American families and individuals. ( )
  awelch12 | Feb 27, 2017 |
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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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Book description
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:20 -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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