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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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3,5591791,487 (4.13)65
  1. 10
    Iron Thunder (I Witness) by Avi (jacqueline065)
    jacqueline065: I was reminded of the historical accout when I read this book. For Historical Fiction Lovers
  2. 00
    One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 00
    The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine (foggidawn)
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» See also 65 mentions

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Newbery Honor (1996), Jane Addams Children's Book Award Nominee for Older Children (1996), Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award Nominee (1998), Coretta Scott King Award for Author Honor (1996), New Mexico Land of Enchantment Award for Young Adult (2000)
Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Award (1995) ( )
  Liz_Haggerty | Jul 22, 2015 |
Civil Rights movements
4 little girls
5th grade and up
  josephla | Jul 13, 2015 |
An African american family in 1963 sets off toe Birmingham, Alabama to see grandma and grandpa during the darkest moments in American History.
  Robinjhud | Jul 4, 2015 |
There is a wonderful blend of humor and sensitivity in this historical fiction about the Watson family that takes place in the 1960's. The Watsons - Mama, Dad, Joetta, Kenny, and Byron - live in Flint, MI. The story is told from Kenny's perspective - a 10-year old boy. Byron, Kenny's older brother has been getting in trouble and the family decides they need to go to Birmingham to visit Mama's family. They are in Birmingham during the time of the protests and the church bombing that killed four young girls. This book has a wonderful blend of humorous stories and seriousness. Through it all the family bonds are strengthened and the family discovers first hand the impact of segregation and the reasons for the Civil Rights Movement.

This is a nice way to use historical fiction to introduce children to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's. I like the fact that this portrayal of an African American family includes a father and mother who are both strong characters who clearly love their family. There is a realistic portrayal of all the ups and downs that families experience. This would be a great book to encourage students to read during their independent reading time especially during the study of US History. This is a great book to use as a launching point to further explore many elements of the Civil Rights movement or even the differences in the life styles of African American families between the Northern states (like MI) and the Southern states (like Alabama). ( )
  zsvandyk | May 25, 2015 |
This book discussed the difficult issue of racism. It is definitely an interesting way to bring up the topic of racism in the classroom. Even though the book itself covers an interesting topic, I felt as though the presentation was very boring and not engaging. Students would also need some background information to be able to fully understand the book. I really enjoyed the central message of family and how if you have your family by your side, you can overcome any challenge. Aside from that though, I was not impressed by the book. I have read better and more engaging novels covering the same topic.
  akern3 | May 18, 2015 |
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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 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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