Recommending the book The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 to someone, what would you say?If you were to recommend the book The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 to someone, what would you say?

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I can but concur with #2. This is a hilarious book at times, as it gives a description of a normal family struggling to bring up children and cope with their various misdemeanours. However, it is not just a comedy book: it is also an intensely moving portrayal of one boy's first-hand experience of the horrors of racism and his struggle to come to terms with the violence and brutality visited on humans by other humans because of a difference in skin colour.

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mrssapp | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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I would recommend "The Watson's Go to Birmingham-1963" to another person.   First, it is a great example of historical fiction.  The plot revolves around historical events, specifically the Birmingham church bombing of 1963.  In addition, the characters of the story are believeable and experience the events of the book in a way that is true to the 1960s in America.  It effectively shows the differences between racism and African-American life in Michigan and Alabama.  Next, it is hilarious.  There are many events in the story that end up sending my students (and myself) into fits of laughter.  While intertwined with very serious events, these moments of humor lighten the overall mood of the book and keep my students engaged in continuing the book.  They can also identify with many of the antics that the characters in the book are involved in.  Finally, the narrator, Kenny, is a 10 year old boy whose point of view helps make the story entertaining because of his naivete.  However, his innocence also has a wisdom to it as he tells about his experiences with the more serious elements of the story.  He has many imperfections and kids (and adults) who read this book can relate to that.  Overall, this is a great book for many ages.

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