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The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

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Hardcover
$17.99 US
On sale Sep 01, 1995 | 224 Pages | 978-0-385-32175-4
Age 8-12 years | Grades 3-7
Reading Level: Lexile 920L | Fountas & Pinnell U
During one of the most important times in the civil rights movement, one unforgettable family goes on a road trip in this Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree, from author Christopher Paul Curtis, recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

When the Watson family—ten-year-old Kenny, Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron—sets out on a trip south to visit Grandma in Birmingham, Alabama, they don’t realize that they’re heading toward one of the darkest moments in America’s history. The Watsons’ journey reminds us that even in the hardest times, laughter and family can help us get through anything.
 
"A modern classic." —NPR

“Marvelous . . . both comic and deeply moving.” —The New York Times

"One of the best novels EVER." —Jacqueline Woodson, Newbery Honor and National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming
  • WINNER | 2012
    TimeOutNewYorkKids.com 50 Best Books for Kids
  • WINNER | 2000
    New Mexico Land of Enchantment Book Award
  • WINNER | 1999
    Massachusetts Children's Book Master List
  • WINNER | 1998
    California Young Reader Medal
  • WINNER | 1997
    Arkansas Charlie May Simon Master List
  • WINNER | 1997
    Texas Lone Star Reading List
  • WINNER | 1996
    Newbery Medal Winner
  • WINNER | 1996
    Newbery Honor Book
  • WINNER | 1996
    ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • WINNER | 1996
    Maine Student Book Master List
  • WINNER | 1996
    Coretta Scott King Author Honor
  • WINNER | 1996
    ALA Notable Children's Book
  • WINNER | 1995
    Golden Kite Award for Fiction
  • WINNER | 1995
    Josette Frank Award
  • WINNER | 1995
    Josette Frank Award for Fiction
  • NOMINEE | 1998
    Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Award
  • FINALIST | 1996
    Newbery Medal Winner
AN ALA TOP TEN BEST BOOK
AN ALA NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK
AN IRA YOUNG ADULT'S CHOICE
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW BEST BOOK
NAMED TO MULTIPLE STATE AWARD LISTS

"This is a book that changes lives. It certainly changed mine." —Kate DiCamillo, two-time Newbery Medalist

"I identify with so much in Christopher Paul Curtis's engrossing classic, The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963." —David Barclay Moore, winner of the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent

"An exceptional first novel."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Superb . . . a warmly memorable evocation of an African American family." —The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

"Ribald humor . . . and a totally believable child's view of the world will make this book an instant hit."—School Library Journal, starred review
© DSH Photography
Christopher Paul Curtis won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his bestselling second novel, Bud, Not Buddy. His first novel, The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, was also singled out for many awards, and has been a bestseller in hardcover and paperback. His most recent novels for Random House include The Mighty Miss Malone, Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission, Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, and Bucking the Sarge.
Christopher Paul Curtis grew up in Flint, Michigan. After high school he began working on the assembly line at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 while attending the Flint branch of the University of Michigan. He is now a full-time writer, and lives with his family in Windsor, Ontario. View titles by Christopher Paul Curtis

Educator Guide for The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Discussion Guide for The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

About

During one of the most important times in the civil rights movement, one unforgettable family goes on a road trip in this Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree, from author Christopher Paul Curtis, recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

When the Watson family—ten-year-old Kenny, Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron—sets out on a trip south to visit Grandma in Birmingham, Alabama, they don’t realize that they’re heading toward one of the darkest moments in America’s history. The Watsons’ journey reminds us that even in the hardest times, laughter and family can help us get through anything.
 
"A modern classic." —NPR

“Marvelous . . . both comic and deeply moving.” —The New York Times

"One of the best novels EVER." —Jacqueline Woodson, Newbery Honor and National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming

Awards

  • WINNER | 2012
    TimeOutNewYorkKids.com 50 Best Books for Kids
  • WINNER | 2000
    New Mexico Land of Enchantment Book Award
  • WINNER | 1999
    Massachusetts Children's Book Master List
  • WINNER | 1998
    California Young Reader Medal
  • WINNER | 1997
    Arkansas Charlie May Simon Master List
  • WINNER | 1997
    Texas Lone Star Reading List
  • WINNER | 1996
    Newbery Medal Winner
  • WINNER | 1996
    Newbery Honor Book
  • WINNER | 1996
    ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • WINNER | 1996
    Maine Student Book Master List
  • WINNER | 1996
    Coretta Scott King Author Honor
  • WINNER | 1996
    ALA Notable Children's Book
  • WINNER | 1995
    Golden Kite Award for Fiction
  • WINNER | 1995
    Josette Frank Award
  • WINNER | 1995
    Josette Frank Award for Fiction
  • NOMINEE | 1998
    Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Award
  • FINALIST | 1996
    Newbery Medal Winner

Praise

AN ALA TOP TEN BEST BOOK
AN ALA NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK
AN IRA YOUNG ADULT'S CHOICE
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW BEST BOOK
NAMED TO MULTIPLE STATE AWARD LISTS

"This is a book that changes lives. It certainly changed mine." —Kate DiCamillo, two-time Newbery Medalist

"I identify with so much in Christopher Paul Curtis's engrossing classic, The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963." —David Barclay Moore, winner of the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent

"An exceptional first novel."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Superb . . . a warmly memorable evocation of an African American family." —The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

"Ribald humor . . . and a totally believable child's view of the world will make this book an instant hit."—School Library Journal, starred review

Author

© DSH Photography
Christopher Paul Curtis won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his bestselling second novel, Bud, Not Buddy. His first novel, The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, was also singled out for many awards, and has been a bestseller in hardcover and paperback. His most recent novels for Random House include The Mighty Miss Malone, Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission, Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, and Bucking the Sarge.
Christopher Paul Curtis grew up in Flint, Michigan. After high school he began working on the assembly line at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 while attending the Flint branch of the University of Michigan. He is now a full-time writer, and lives with his family in Windsor, Ontario. View titles by Christopher Paul Curtis

Guides

Educator Guide for The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Discussion Guide for The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Videos from the 2024 First-Year Experience® Conference are now available

We’re pleased to share videos from the 2024 First-Year Experience® Conference. Whether you weren’t able to join us at the conference or would simply like to hear the talks again, please take a moment to view the clips below.   Penguin Random House Author Breakfast Monday, February 19th, 7:15 – 8:45 am PST This event

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