A novel that includes civil rights history The North...


March 08, 2001|By Tricia Bishop

A novel that includes civil rights history

The North Carroll Branch Library in Greenmount holds a book-discussion group for kids 9 to 12 on the second Monday of each month. This month's featured book is "The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis.

The 1995 book, which won both a Newbery Honor Award and a Coretta Scott King Honor Award, is told through the fourth-grade voice of Kenny Watson, whose older brother, Byron, is causing all sorts of trouble for their family. Byron's been caught lighting fires, cutting school and stealing change. His parents have had enough. They make good on a threat to visit the kids' strict grandmother in the Deep South. They think she's the one who can help the boy straighten up.

What Byron and Kenny get that summer, besides a no-nonsense grandmotherly attitude, is a full view of the violence of racism when Birmingham's Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church is bombed with four little girls still inside.

The book shows a loving but troubled African-American family and reveals how the family members work through their relationships amid the volatile atmosphere of the 1960s South.

Read the book and then register to attend the discussion. March 12, 6:45 p.m., 2255 Hanover Pike, 410-386-4480.

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