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Curtis, Christopher Paul
New York : Delacorte, 1995.
IL 5-8 RL 5.0 .
ISBN 0385321759
The Watsons are not an ordinary family in Flint, MI.  On a very cold winter morning, Byron manages to freeze his lips to the side-view mirror of the family car.  Mrs. Watson  is from Alabama and fears her children will freeze in the cold, so she bundles them in so many layers of sweaters and coats they can hardly move—but it’s great protection when you’re pelted with snowballs.  No wonder people think the family is strange.  But there’s one way they’re not strange at all.  When gang influences that threaten to turn him from good kid to bad kid, the Watson’s decide to drive 1,000 miles to Birmingham to take him to Grandma Sands, who will be able to set Byron straight.  If that doesn’t happen over the summer, Byron would stay in Birmingham.  In preparation for a trip, Mr. Watson had a TrueTone AB-700 Ultra-Glide installed in his car, the Brown Bomber.  The Ultra-Glide played something you’ve probably never seen—45 rpm records.  The day he brought it home, the weird Watsons spent two hours out front of the house in the Brown Bomber testing out the Ultra-Glide.  What the Watson’s don’t anticipate is the racial hatred in Birmingham.  Hatred strong enough for white men to blow up a black church.  Both funny and sad, The Watsons go to Birmingham—1963 takes you back to a time when the color of your skin determined what kind of world you lived in.  (Mary Huebscher, Librarian, Holy Cross High School, San Antonio, TX 78228 <>)
SUBJECTS:     African Americans -- Fiction
                        Family life -- Fiction
                        Prejudices -- Fiction
                        Brothers and sisters -- Fiction
                        Flint (Mich.) -- Fiction


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