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The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by…

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 (edition 1997)

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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4,2392461,171 (4.13)71
Title:The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
Authors:Christopher Paul Curtis
Info:Yearling (1997), Paperback, 210 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

  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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Kenny Watson lives in Michigan with his family. When his older brother Byron acts out too many times, his parents decide to drive down to Burminham. In Burminham, the family experiences discrimination, including the bombing of a nearby church.
This novel would be considered historical fiction, as the story is set in a historically accurate time period, but the Watson daily is fictional
  klum15 | Apr 24, 2017 |
This book is about a black family living in Flint Michigan in 1963. They have three children and the oldest son(Byron) is very much a trouble maker. He is always picking on his little brother Kenny. Kenny is in 4th grade and also gets picked on by bullies at his school. Until Rufus shows up and Kenny hopes the bullies will have someone new to pick on and leave him alone. Kenny is apprehensive about becoming friends with Rufus because he thinks this will get them bullied more. Kenny and Rufus become good friends. Byron cause so much trouble in the book by setting things on fire, charges food to his dad's account at the grocery store, kills a bird with a cookie. Then the last straw for the parents was when Byron went and got what they called the conk hairstyle. The parents said they were all going to take a trip down to Birmingham to see Grandma Sands and leave Byron with her for the summer. The mother plans the trip down to where they would stop for gas and what hotels they will stay at but the dad just drives right through. When in Birmingham the kids decide to go swimming and Grandma Sands warns them to stay away from Colliers Landing because there is a whirl pool and a boy has drowned there. Kenny wants to go but Byron tells him he shouldn't. Kenny took of anyways and get pulled into the whirl pool and nearly drowns but Byron saves him. Then a few days later Joetta Kenny and Byron's sister goes to church with some neighbors.While she is gone everyone hears a loud boom. Byron's father wakes up and yells what did Byron do now but Byron had been sleeping. After much confusion they find out there was a bombing at the church. The family rushes down to find Joetta while Kenny must have been in shock he stayed at the house. Joetta returns and Kenny won't look at her because he thinks it is her ghost. Joetta tries to explain to Kenny that she thought she saw him waving at her so she left the church to follow him. That night the whole family packs up and heads back to Flint Michigan. Kenny starts hiding behind the couch and then one day just starts crying uncontrollably. Byron helps Kenny to try and process the emotions he is going through and tells Kenny nothing was is fault. This book is a good contemporary realistic book because it shows emotions and the bond of strength families have. Age 3rd grade and up.
  RachelDeardorff | Apr 23, 2017 |
This a story of a boy,Kenny, who lives in Flint, Mich. in 1963. He is a second grader and he is African American. This book is cut into several short stories about the Watson family during the year 1963. The family decides to travel to Birmingham, AL to see family and to leave Byron, Kenny's older brother, with grandma for a little while. Byron has been causing trouble in flint and his parents are making an attempt to stop him from making even bigger mistakes. This is told through the perspective of a second-grade child. The story is impactful and draws connections to events that students read about.
Critique of Genere- Historical Fiction because the events could have happened but did not.
Media- none
Ages- 4th-12th grade ( )
  Lhayden4 | Apr 20, 2017 |
Is a story of fourth grader Kenny Watson from Flint, Michigan who tells his experiences of his school, friends and family. It also talked aboutthe hardships that him and his family went through together when we almost came close to losing one of our close family members and just trying to figure out what we could have done to fix a situation that was out of our control. Throughout the book we see how he is trying to find himself as well as trying to understand the world around him with his brother. In the end we see a boy that has grown to understand the things that are happening around him alongside his brother who is a trouble maker.
  jzsolorzano7 | Apr 20, 2017 |
Summary: The novel is about a boy named Kenny and his family as they go through life. The story follows the family on a trip they make to Birmingham, Alabama. The short lived trip brought many questions to the children and realizations of what the civil war is about. Through the events that happen in the book, it brings the Watson family closer.

Critique of Genre: Realistic Fiction because the story could happen.

Age: Intermediate 4th or 5th grade

Media: Cover: Graphic ( )
  elissamcgeever | Apr 19, 2017 |
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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
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.
"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)

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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.

(summary from another edition)

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