The Watsons Go To Birmingham (Christopher Paul Curtis)

"We'd seen the pictures of a bunch of really mad white people with twisted-up faces screaming and giving dirty finger signs to some little Negro kids who were trying to go to school. I'd seen the pictures but I didn't really know how these white people could hate some kids so much."

"We'd seen the pictures of a bunch of really mad white people with twisted-up faces screaming and giving dirty finger signs to some little Negro kids who were trying to go to school. I'd seen the pictures but I didn't really know how these white people could hate some kids so much."

U.S.A. / 1995

This is a classic YA book. It details the Watson family’s 1963 trip from stable Flint, Michigan to tumultuous Birmingham, Alabama. As Black northerners, they are shocked to be immersed in the terrible racial climate of the south, and are forced to cope with being treated so inhumanely for the first time ever - living under strict segregation and all. The story’s backdrop is the Civil Rights Movement and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. This is a really good read. It’s also been made into a movie and there are a ton of plays based on it, as well. Fun fact: this was Curtis’ first book, and he published it at age 42! He had spent his life up until then working at a car plant and working other jobs. Proves that there’s always still time to be published. :)

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