The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

by Christopher Paul Curtis, LeVar Burton (Read by)

Audio Other(Other - Abridged, 4 cassettes, 5 hrs.)

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The Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree about the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan—from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Bud, Not Buddy, a Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott Award Winner.

Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There's Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron, who's thirteen and an "official juvenile delinquent."

When Byron gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma's church is blown up.


"Every so often a book becomes a modern classic almost as soon as it arrives on bookshelves. That happened in the mid-'90s when Christopher Paul Curtis released his first book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963."  —NPR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553477863
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1996
Edition description: Abridged, 4 cassettes, 5 hrs.
Product dimensions: 4.47(w) x 7.11(h) x 1.22(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Christopher Paul Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan, and grew up there. Bud, Not Buddy, his second novel, winner of the 2000 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award, is available in a Delacorte hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

And You Wonder Why We Get Called the Weird Watsons It was one of those super-duper-cold Saturdays. One of those days that when you breathed out your breath kind of hung frozen in the air like a hunk of smoke and you could walk along and look exactly like a train blowing out big, fat, white puffs of smoke.

Excerpted from "The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963"
by .
Copyright © 2013 Christopher Paul Curtis.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 637 reviews.
Jayden Spencer More than 1 year ago
this book was awesome intenseing too. but good my favorite part is when byron gets his lips stuck on the mirror and everyone is trying to get his lips off by hot watr NATRULE DISASTER LOL!!!! must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this 7 years ago when I was in sixth grade. I didn't appreciate it as much back then, but now I must say this book is exactly what I rated it- exceptional. It touches on things that we merely brush off, such as the bombing of the church that resulted in the death of those 4 little girls. Very good book!
goatrapper69 More than 1 year ago
The Watsons go to Birmingham 1963 By: Christopher Paul Curtis Genre: Fiction Age Range: 8 and up Awards: New berry Honor Book Challenge Level: Low Medium High ???????????? Level of Enjoyment: Low Medium High Very high ??????????????? What did I like about this book? I recommend this book to middle school students and family readers. This book was set in the 60's but, still resembles today. Bryon is the character that gets in trouble all the time. He also gets in bad situations like getting his tongue stuck to the car mirror. Bryon starts to straighten up after he gets to grandmas. Kenny is being the bad one now; he goes to a place at the river where he shouldn't have been. Then it was confusing when he gets out of the whirl pool to the church bombing. Over all I like this book and give it 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is well-educational for fifth to six grade. it goes back in time and teaches some of the darkest moments in America's history along with having funny plots and charavters on a journey from Flint Michigan to Birmingham Alabama. Very good READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 was an enlightening and quick-paced story. Very inspirational, it shows the love of an African American family during a segregated period of time. It's a very nice book, although it wasn't amazing. The story in general wasn't very special. Really, I liked it but didn't love it. It just didn't captivate me the way some other books do. The story is based in Flint, Michigan in 1963. The main characters are Kenny, Byron, Joetta, and their parents. The main part of the story tells of adventures in their everyday lives from 10 year old Kenny's point of view. Byron is a bully at school, while Kenny is more of a goody-goody. When the Watsons decide to go to Birmingham, Alabama to visit Grandma, they're in for a wild ride. At this point in the story it really begins to heat up. However, when a tragedy occurs and threatens the well-being of their family, they must leave Alabama. The Watsons must pull together to get past what happened. Overall, this book was ok. It was a bit slow in the beginning, just because it took so long to get into the main plot of the story. It had some high points, very comedic incidents that happened before their trip-like Byron's lips getting stuck on the frosty mirror. In the same sense, it also had low points. Most of these, however, occurred in Birmingham with two horrific events that confused me a bit. In conclusion, I am neutral about this book. I didn't particularly like it, but I didn't dislike it. I wouldn't recommend it, but I wouldn't not recommend it, either. Christopher Paul Curtis did a good job with the character development, but he wasn't as strong with the story line. It was purely just a simple story. It is a quick read which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Watsons go to Birmingham 1963, for the most part, is a really good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book my fifth grade teacher is reading it and it is a perfect book LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rose_P More than 1 year ago
This is an inspiring story told by a young boy who is trying to make his way through life during a time of turmoil and discrimination in the United States. Despite everything that African Americans were going through at the time, Kenneth is always full of life and goes on through the everyday just like any nine year old boy. Then, during their family trip to Birmingham the world is awakened by the tragic bombing of a local Baptist church and Kenneth's life is changed forever. While this book does not have a lot of facts in it, it is a great personal testament to how the civil right movement changed the lives of many people, This book is great for young readers because they can relate to the things that Kenneth is going through. If you enjoyed this book you might also enjoy Bud Not Buddy, another book written by Mr. Curtis. You will find that they are written in the same manner which is always comforting for me. I love starting a book knowing that chances are I am going to love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the watson's go to birmingham 1963 because it is a good sized hilarious book if someone wanted me to recomend a book i would recomend this book because it is so hilarious my favorite part is when byron gets his lips frozen to the brown bomber i also like the part about byron deciding to secretly get a do , a conk , a butter , a process.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ur book is so entertaining,funny and creative!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yummy in my tummy lolololol &psi <br> Mummy in my tummy lolololll &pi <br> Dummy in my fummy hajshaha &block <br>
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is so cool and fascinating
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all thank u for readiing this review. I have not finishedthis book yet my class is reading it and we just started this is a really funny read this book u wont regret it!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutly looooovvvvveeeee this book i highly recomend this book for young kids from ages 9-13 . Iread this first when i was 11 last year i love it so much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963 was a great book to read. The book brings to light racial issues that  are current to the time period, while presenting other topics and themes at hand common to every family. This is a multicultural book that is appropriate for middle school aged children and up. Without giving away most of the story, it touches all aspects of family value and conflicts that occur in all families, but then gives us a twist and incorporates race, making this multicultural. I truly enjoyed this book because although it was  age appropriate for middle school aged children, it is very raw and really dives into racial issues that were current of the time period. I found it was important that the story was told in the point of view of Kenny, a  middle school aged child, making this story relatable for any young adults who read the story regardless of race. Although I enjoyed this book, I would have like to have read more about the family's experience in Birmingham for more than the few pages it was mentioned, not including the focus of the ride down. All in all, The Watson's Go to Birmingham was a really good read for anyone.
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My class read this book and liked a lot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book it helps children such as my self learn about the civip rights act. It contain some cuse words but they arent to bad. Besides that it is funny, intertianing, helpful, and emotional. We read it in my class and there was some parts were my teacher couldnt read she was laughing so hard and others when it was hard for her to read because she was trying to keep from crying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its nice to see a book with a childs veiw of the world. Especially a kid from when Martin Luther King Jr was around. Kenny is a ten year old with a very naughty brother. Im reading this book in English class and we have only been reading for two weeks and have like ten pages left. Definetly try it out. {:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book 8 years ago when I was in the 5th grade, I loved this book. It was great representation of how the Civil Rights Movement in 1964 and it is put in terms that an elementary schooler could understand easily. I loved this book so much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book i like iy when bryon kisses the window and his lips got stoke its a great book my social studies teacher read it to the class it is amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A definet buy. Sad at end but still great!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chuck noris read this and started crying this book is boss