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The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963
The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan.  — There's Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron, who's thirteen and an "official juvenile delinquent." When Momma and Dad decide it's time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the ...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780440414124
ISBN-10: 0440414121
Publication Date: 9/8/1997
Pages: 210
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 58 ratings
Publisher: Yearling
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Fantastic book. My ten year old and I read it together and laughed a lot and I think she got the message about what it might have been like to be a black person in 1963. It's no wonder the book has won awards. I would recommend it to anyone, but I think the choice to have it as a summer reading book when a child is about to enter 5th grade, gives them good perspective on things and may even make them curious to learn more about the Civil Rights movement.
PIZZELLEBFS avatar reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 331 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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.
jazzysmom avatar reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 907 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a wonderful book. I know it is rated for young adult reading, but is great reading for adult also. This is the story of a close knit family who want to go visit Grandma in Alabama, in 1968 it isn't the best time for them to be there. This is funny, there are lots of smiles in this book. Eye opening to see thru the eyes of the Watson family how peolple were treated in this era. You'll be glad you met this Watson family in this read. I am.
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frogslady avatar reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 85 more book reviews
This is a YA story about a family who lives in Flint, MI, and travels to Birmingham to visit relatives. They are there during a disturbing racist act, and the story does make one think. Of course I read the title and the cover, and so I was suprised that they don't actually go to Birmingham until the book is almost over. There is a lot of development to have a background of why they go to Birmingham and on reflection this is a strength of the writing, but I just kept waiting for them to take the trip! This is a good example of a historical fiction novel; I have often felt I learn more history through a good historical fiction novel, and the set up of the normal family interactions helps the reader to understand the way horror can intrude into familiar people's lives.
reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 6 more book reviews
Had to read this. it was Funny.
reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 4 more book reviews
My absolute favorite book of all time!
hallelujaheart avatar reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 96 more book reviews
This book was a fun read. Absolutely loved the characters and their ease to relate to. Definately recommend for young and old.
k-9lover avatar reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 9 more book reviews
teriffic and funny. I enjoyed it.( A book for kids too!you will will enjoy it.)
reviewed The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 on + 13 more book reviews
This story is set in a cryptic time in America, where segregation down south is still pretty big. But where the Watson's live, life is normal for them. With their little family of 5- Mama, Daddy, Joey, Byron, and Kenny(main character) until Byron, who has been toeing the line, finally crosses it, and things change in a drastic way. Byron is a juvenile delinquent, and whenever he does anything bad, Mama and Daddy threaten to send him to Birmingham and live in the severe household with their grandma. Well, this time it turns out the meant it. But instead of just sending Byron, the whole family packs up in their new car, and drives down to Birmingham, Alabama. In Birmingham, and event happens which makes them oh so grateful for what they have.