THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM -- 1963 : A NOVEL
New York : Delacorte, 1995.
IL 5-8 RL 5.0 .
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
African Americans -- Fiction
Family life -- Fiction
Prejudices -- Fiction
Brothers and sisters -- Fiction
Flint (Mich.) -- Fiction
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