Reviews

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis

jjandherbooks's review against another edition

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4.0

TERRIFIC!

lala_books's review against another edition

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3.0

I nearly gave up on this book but I’m glad I read through to where they finally went to Birmingham.

kelseycarol's review against another edition

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5.0

I have vivid memories of reading this book in my fifth grade reading class, that was taught by my mother. I remembered very little about it other than the fact that I loved it and this still holds true reading it know as an adult. It is a brilliant book that does not shy away from introducing difficult discussions to young readers and should be commended for doing so. It is an excellent book for any reader old or young.

bucketheadmary's review against another edition

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4.0

I felt like Kenny was a real kid from a real family, with all the peculiarities that entails. His relationship with his older brother was particularly keen. I loved how well real history was incorporated into Kenny's experience while simultaneously hating that we have such history.

literallykaren's review against another edition

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4.0

I really like this book! I remembered almost nothing from when my class read it in 8th grade. I remember sort of feeling lost while we read it, but my memory is poor enough that I'm not sure if that's because of the book or if it's because I missed some of class or if it's because my teacher that year was constantly in and out of the hospital and who knows what the reading schedule was like. For some reason, at my library, we keep this in the children's section instead of the young adult section. I think this story would be better for teens or older. Not because it's inappropriate for children or because they can't comprehend it, but rather if a child is going to tackle this story, they need someone to read it alongside them who can explain to them the context of the story. For the most part, this is a sweet story about a loving family, but at one point towards the end of the book, the path of this family crosses the path of a horrible real life history event - the 16th street Baptist church bombing. The book doesn't explain much about it, but instead it focuses on the aftermath for this family and the child who witnessed it. By then, you're already so deeply involved in this family, that the historical context becomes very real and the fallout from that is felt deeply.

Lastly, I remember 20 years ago not understanding the Wool Pooh, and I have to say I don't get it any better today than I did then.

deniselynn's review

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emotional funny inspiring reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.5

gabieowleyes's review against another edition

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4.0

I read this is this in my 7th or 8th grade class and I remember loving it :)

Reread 2018

Once again, I found myself laughing while listening to this audiobook. I’m not sure if I’ll read this one to my 4th graders, but I’ll definitely keep it in my library.

inkstainedlife's review against another edition

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2.0

Told in a series of vignettes of Watson family life, I didn’t feel like this book really started hanging together until the second half. I didn’t care for the structure.

sayruh90's review

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adventurous challenging emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

sradcliffe1's review against another edition

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4.0

3.75 stars- I used Youtube videos made by a teacher to listen to this book.

I enjoyed this book a lot, and I can definitely see the extreme appeal it would have for young readers. The Watson family is such a unique and interesting family. They have their disagreements, but they love each other unconditionally. They have a great mixture of tender and silly moments that make you wish they were a part of their family. Kenneth was an amusing and admirable narrator and someone I think lots of kids can relate to.

While I enjoyed the family and their antics, I wish we would have spent more time in Birmingham and that the reader was told more about what was happening in Birmingham at the time. That said, I thought the last few chapters, when Kenneth began to understand the hatred and racism in the South, were very powerful and well done.