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The Watsons Go To Birmingham

Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Reviewer's Age: Grade 8

This book takes place in 1963 -- during the civil rights movement. Kenny Watson is a 4th grader at Clark Elementary School in Flint, Michigan. The beginning of the book is about his life at home and school: his older brother's problems and punishments, the teasing at school, the cold of winter, and his sister Joetta's dinosaur games. The excitement starts when there is a phone call from Grandma Sands down in Birmingham, Alabama. Mother announces to the family that they will be taking a trip down to Birmingham during the summer and that Byron, Kenny's older brother, will stay with Grandma Sands for the whole summer to be disciplined. After arriving in Birmingham, the children have adventures that will change their lives forever. This book is a "must-read" and has become one of my favorites.