Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 Paperback – September 8, 1997
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
—Publishers Weekly, Starred, Boxed Review
"Superb . . . a warmly memorable evocation of an African American family." —The Horn Book Magazine, Starred
"Marvelous . . . both comic and deeply moving."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Ribald humor . . . and a totally believable child's view of the world will make this book an instant hit."—School Library Journal, Starred --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Therefore, it may surprise you that I don't read this book in class. I was overwhelmed and disappointed that a gifted writer chose to use so many curses throughout the book and so many sensitive topics. There are over ten examples of the children using foul language. Two ten year old boys get excited about going to the club house to look at books of 'nekkid' ladies and remark that the older brother keeps some copies of such materials in his own bedroom for he and his friends. Also, Dad puts his hand on mom's chest when he think his children don't see (which Kenny does).
I'm a teacher. I work with children every day. I'm not blind to the fact the our children see these things on TV, encounter them in the home, and even come across them on the school field. However, as one who believes we should do better by our children, I am disappointed by the material Curtis has chosen to include in his work. Seeing descriptions in print and visualizing the pictures in the mind (which is a great aspect of books) is very powerful - even more so, I believe, than on TV, which children have learned to tune out. As an educator, I refuse to have my students visualize the things Curtis includes.
Too bad because it would have been a great book.
If you're looking for a great book that you never want toput down, The Watsons Go to Birmingham is perfect. It is written by Christopher Paul Curtis. It's full of adventure, comedy, and tragedy. This book is based on the life of a black family in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. The book is narrated by one of the young family members, Kenny.
The family goes through many problems with Kenny's big brother Byron. Byron thinks he's so cool and thinks he can do whatever he wants including dying his hair, play with matches, and he does other stuff like kissing himself in the mirror. Kenny also has a mom who is very strict and a dad who is always positive. One more family member is Joetta. She is Kenny's younger sister and is very caring.One of the things we really enjoyed about this book was, that the author really expresses the character's characteristics.
The theme of this story is based on the Civil Rights Movement and family. The book goes through problems in both of these categories. Such as, bombings during the Civil Rights Movement, problems with Byron and Kenny, and so many more usual, and some unusual, problems. Many of the Watson family members change during the story. An example of this is, Byron changed from a disobedient child, to a mature, young man full of respect. The theme of this book really expresses the authors feelings on family and the Civil Rights Movement. Christopher Paul Curtis is a great author and uses many different "secrets" to make his writing as good as it is. First of all, he tells things like they are. There isn't any fantasy in this book and you can relate to the story. The Watsons are just like any family. They go through difficult times and good times.Read more ›
It's true that this story doesn't have much of a plot in the usual sense, but then how many families have lives that are neatly plotted out? Instead we see episodes in the life of nerdish Kenny Watson, his older brother Byron who is always getting into trouble, his little sister "Joey" who is a little angel, their Momma who still has some of the old South in her, and Dad, a loving, but sometimes stern, man.
This is an important piece of historical fiction. It shows an intact African-American family, struggling with many of the same things families of other races were dealing with in those days, however one is given a taste of their fear of racial violence as Momma and Dad plan--and take--their trip into the deep South to visit Grandma Sands during those turbulent times.
This is an important book, but one I can only recommend with reservations. Some of the situations, and more especially some of the crude language used by Byron and his friends, would cause me to give it a PG rating. I think it's unfortunate that some authors of children's books think it's OK to use language that most educators are otherwise discouraging students from using.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book; my son is enjoying reading it! Came in a timely fashion in good condition.Published 14 days ago by sabrina A cumbermack
This book was written by one of my favorite authors. He gives you a vivid mental picture and makes you laugh while at the same time telling you what bit about history. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Avid Customer