The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
Christopher Paul Curtis
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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.
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
"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
From the Hardcover edition.
said. “This don’t wash out, it’s gotta grow out.” “You mean you have to keep it like that until it comes back normal? “Yeah,” Byron said, kind of smiling. “They can’t do nothin’ to it till it grows back.” “Oh no! Daddy’s gonna tear you up!” I said, “That’s right, ma’am, Five Forty-one is just waiting for the executioner to get home. Would you like to stick around and write down his last words?” Joey turned and snapped, “Why is this so funny to you, Kenny?” Her eyes looked real mean. “Who
eyes there isn’t anything in the world that is better for general cleaning than a toothbrush, and the greatest thing about it is that with a good rinse afterward no one can tell what it was used for. “I also know that the best toothbrush for cleaning stuff is always someone else’s. So, rather than wondering what my toothbrush last cleaned, I think it’s better that it only goes places that I know about.” Dad was right. I caught Byron using mine once to shine up some quarters and another time to
“Awww, man . . .” Me and Joey cracked up. We knew a certain person had peeked and got popped, right smack-jab on that bald head. Finally Dad said, “That’s it, open your eyes. What do you think?” Dad had opened the driver’s side of the Brown Bomber and was standing with one arm pointing the way inside. In the middle of the dashboard, to the right of the steering wheel, something real big was sticking out. Dad had taken one of our giant towels and set it over the thing. Everybody stood there
in the mirror and got his lips stuck!” Dad took a real deep breath. “Is your tongue stuck too?” “No! Quit teasin’, Da-ee! Hel’! Hel’!” “Well, at least the boy hadn’t gotten too passionate with himself!” Dad thought that was hilarious and put his head back on his arms. Momma didn’t see anything funny. “Daniel Watson! What are we gonna do? What do y’all do when this happens up he-uh?” Momma started talking Southernstyle when she got worried. Instead of saying “here” she said “he-uh” and instead
do nothin’.” Miss Henry waved for me to come in and stand in front of the class. I guess I was too nervous about Mr. Alums to have recognized the voice before, but as soon as I walked into the room I froze. There in the two seats closest to the teacher’s desk in the very first row sat Buphead and Byron! The Langston Hughes book jumped from my hand and the whole class laughed, everyone but Byron. His eyes locked on mine and I felt things start melting inside of me. Mr. Alums slammed the