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The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

By Christopher Paul Curtis (17)

Christopher Paul Curtis’ debut novel, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, is not only a commentary on the Civil Rights movement, but just as notably, a study of the tumultuous and loving relationship between two brothers. Living in Flint, Michigan, ten-year-old Kenny Watson and his thirteen-year-old brother, Byron, have a layered and occasionally fractured relationship, demonstrated through motley of incidents between the two. Bryon, whose antics border on delinquency, is a frequent source of teasing and abuse for Kenny, yet he also is the most ardent protector of his little brother, defending him against the cruelties of schoolyard bullies, and teaching Kenny how to obscure his crossed eye. However, as Byron grows increasingly out of hand, the Watsons finally decide on a drastic measure, and resort to taking the defiant boy, and the rest of the family, to live with Grandma Sands, who lives a distance away in Birmingham, Alabama. Curtis delves into the racial tensions prevalent in the 1960’s American South, experienced through the eyes of a young boy, who has difficulty understanding the cruelty that grows from prejudice. The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 is a beautiful tale that highlights the complicated sibling relationship, while exploring, with sensitivity, the life of an African-American in the sixties.

Teaching Unit: The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 (eBook) cover

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham: Study Guide and Student Workbook cover

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham (Focus on Reading Study Guide) (eBook) cover

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963: A Literature Guide for Classroom Use (eBook) cover

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham���1963: An Instructional Guide for Literature (Great Works eBook) cover

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