Friday, December 4, 2015

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

Curtis, C. P. (1995). The Watsons go to Birmingham, 1963. NY: Delacorte.

The Watson family consists of Mom, Dad, Byron, Joetta, and Kenny. Byron has been acting up for a while now and Kenny’s parents decide to take him down to Alabama so he can spend the summer with his maternal grandmother. They are hoping she can straighten him out. They arrive in Birmingham in a very turbulent time. When an explosion rocks a local church, the Watson’s are forced to face a very real reality for African American’s living in the south in the 1960’s.

Watson, or Pointdexter, as his bullies like to call him, is a smart little boy with a wonderful family. He refers to his family as the “weird Watsons.” Kenny chronicles his adventures at school and at home throughout his fourth grade year. With his older brother acting foolish and getting in trouble, his parents have no choice but to ship him off to his maternal grandmother’s home. The weird Watsons decide to embark on a family vacation to Birmingham, Alabama during a very turbulent time in American history. Through Kenny’s eyes we are able to see the world of equal rights unfold before us. This book is for readers that are interested in equal rights historical time period, or is simply looking to connect with a relatable character and their journey growing up.

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