The Watsons Go to Birmingham


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

The story is set in 1963. The Watsons are a “weird” family reflected almost everyday life for an African American family in the 1960s. When the main character, Kenny’s older brother Byron continues to get into troublethe family decides to send him to his grandmother’s for the summer in Alabama. While there, Kenny experiences his first encounter with racism. The church that his sister attends is bombed by two white men. Kenny is traumatized by seeing the bodies of the children that were killed. Once the family returns home, their parents won’t talk about the incident around the children, and Kenny begins hiding or “disappearing” for large amounts of time until Byron, taking a fatherly role, consoles him and tells him that even though it is not fair, they are safe.

If you liked this book, you will like:

Curtis, C. (1999). Bud, not buddy. NY: Random House.

Ryan, P. (2000). Esperanza Rising. NY: Scholastic.


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