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Showing 1-10 of 381 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,139 reviews
on January 5, 2017
The Watsons go to Birmingham -1963 was overall my favorite book of 2016. I just recently read the book in my seventh grade reading class. Personally I thought the novel was a eye-opening, heart-warming, page-turning book. The way the whole book was laid out was brilliant, all of the characters played such an important part in the novel. For example, Byron is a juvenile delinquent, but a softie at heart. In the book when Kenny, Joetta,and By went swimming Joey, and Byron listened to Grandma Sands, and stayed away from Collier’s Landing. Kenny, on the other hand, did not. Before Kenny went swimming Byron told Kenny, and Joetta this long story about Winnie the Poohs evil twin brother, the Wool Pooh. Once Kenny went swimming he got caught in the whirlpool. When Kenny got caught Byron came running after Kenny and jumped in after him. Under the water Kenny thought Byron was the Wool Pooh, and started trying to fight him off. Luckily, Byron was stronger Kenny and managed to pull him back up out of the water. When he did Byron was kissing Kennys head and thanking god that he got there in time. The chapter “I Meet Winnie's Evil Twin Brother, the Wool Pooh” is an amazing way to show how Byron and Kenny feel towards each other. Its also a great example to show how complex Byron's personality is.
I also loved how Christopher Paul Curtis came up with all of these family moments that not only brought them closer together but made YOU feel like YOU’RE in the book watching them!
The last thing i'm going to add on to my comment is that I would recommend this novel too other young kids my age. It’s an amazing book that you’ll never want to put down!
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on November 16, 2015
I met Christopher Paul Curtis in 1998 at the International Reading Association Convention. I bought a hardback of this book and got a picture of Curtis and me. I then had him sign my book. He was very nice, and I told him that I couldn't wait to read his book, because I had heard so many wonderful things about it. Fast forward 17 years, and I have just now gotten a chance to read it because I am teaching 6th grade. 😊 Overall, it was a really good book. I loved all the family stories and mischief the boys got into. Only thing I was disappointed in was that I had thought there was going to be more in it about what was going on in history during that time period, but there wasn't anything until the very end. There was so much great story telling in the first 3/4 of the book, and then the last fourth of the book seemed rushed and not fully "fleshed out". I was surprised to hear that my students felt the same way about this. But, nonetheless, it was a really good book, and I can't wait to watch the movie of it (which I don't think will be much like the book).
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on November 16, 2014
When I first chose this book to read, I only went by the brief description that told what the book was about. Little did I know that when I began to read the book, I would feel as if I, myself was living through the Watsons. They had normal family drama, sibling rivalry, behavioral issues (that now a days, we would put our child on medication for) There are high points in the book as well as low points. But the family pulls together to get through the tough times. Although the book takes place in the 1960's, it seems to encompass some modern day problems in our society. Discrimination is still eminent in our society today but I feel it has gotten a bit better since the time frame in which this story took place. Through Kenny's eyes we are able to uncover what his feelings and fears are towards every day life, his brother and the incidents in Birmingham, Alabama. It is how this family comes through that has drawn me deeper into this book. The audience that I would gear this towards would be grades 5 - 7 because I feel at this age, they are most impressionable and would really allow the Watsons into their learning environment and minds.
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on March 22, 2017
A funny book with lively characters that teaches about an important event in US history. I've been teaching my class with this novel for many years, always get the same reaction from my students, they love it.
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on June 19, 2017
Well written,but only a small glimpse into the events. The characters could have been expanded on to enhance the story, to provide needed insight into their feelings and reasons for thinking as they did.
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on October 14, 2016
Christopher Paul Curtis has been my 10 year old son's favorite author for a few years now. There's so much humor and love - relationships between characters are affectionately but unsentimentally drawn. This book, in particular, had such an honest depiction of sibling relationships. From the teasing to the sometimes brutal way children treat those they're closest to to the underlying tie of complete loyalty and understanding, I never doubted the portrayal of any of the characters. Do be careful, though - if you're reading this out loud, you'll probably cry.
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on January 6, 2017
While reading this book I felt as if I was going through the life of the Watsons. Feeling their emotions and how they handled their own life. The detail the the author gives about the surroundings, sounds, and sights that the Watsons see. When Kenny would describe the blizzard test Buphead and Byron would give him it felt as if you were standing there watching it happen. I loved the book just by reading the description of the Watson family. Trust me this is one book you want on your reading shelf
Sofia Williams
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on May 29, 2015
A profound and often hilarious account of a black family in Michigan and their (short-lived) visit to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. The young narrator's voice feels so authentic and the evolution of the sibling dynamics very realistic. Their visit South describes the terror of the church bombing that killed innocent African-American Sunday School children and traumatizes the narrator. The older brother, formerly a tormentor of the narrator and a cut-up at school, comes to his rescue -- so love and family strength in the end wins out. Realistic dialogue and events throughout this highly readable classic that should be required in all 5th/6th grade classrooms. C.P Curtis is now a favorite author of my 10 year old grand-daughter and myself (a retired teacher & elem. principal).
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on December 8, 2014
I do not know why people are giving this book anything less than 5 stars- I can see how byrons language could bother some people but seriously get over it. It is what life is like, sometimes people curse. I think it is excusable because the book teaches SO many valuable lessons not only about black history but also about racism today. Christopher Paul Curtis is a superb author and I think this is his best book yet. And by the way for all of those 5th grade teachers complaining about language, just don't read it! Very simple!you guys don't understand the point of the whole book, I doubt CPC sat down to write this and thought "well I'm going to make people flip out about the language" no he didn't he is just writing a book. It is a very good book and the stories are excellent I wish people could focus on that instead of a couple seminar words in there.
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on May 16, 2015
Read this along with my 9 year old daughter. Loved the premise and the fact that there's history behind the story. However, the language was difficult for her to get through. I understand why the improper grammar and slang terminology was used but she struggled reading it. She did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped due to that.
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