The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
Christopher Paul Curtis


“The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963” is a book about an African-American family that lives in Flint, Michigan. They lived and experienced that affects of the civil right movement. It did not have many big examples of what it was like for the African-American people of this time. There were more subtle examples of the persecution that the African-American people went through. Kenny is the main character in this book. Kenny is ten years old and is forced to grow up faster then any ten year old should have to. Kenny experienced his first real interaction with whites persecuting African-Americans while visiting his grandma down south in Birmingham, Alabama. Two white people put off two bombs in the African-American church that his little sister was attending that Sunday. Seeing that tragedy of the church forced Kenny to have to deal with the hard reality of life during the civil rights movement.

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I personally believe that this book could be a good book to read during a civil right movement unit in a classroom. However, I do not think that it would be the best book to read to show examples of the hardships during the civil rights movement. It does not give a whole lot of facts about that time period in history. “The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963” was a great example of a family that stuck together through hardships and pain. - EM