All member reviews for The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

Common Sense Media says

A funny novel with a devastating emotional punch.

Users say

(out of 81 reviews)
age 10+
Review this title!
Kid, 10 years old January 30, 2010

Better For OLDER Kids

I didn't like this very much. I think this is iffy for kids age 10. Some of the things in here really bothered me; when the mom tries to burn one of her kids fingers, the personification of the 'Wool Pooh' or whirlpool, the bombing of the church, and seeing a dead girl which the main character thought was his sister among other things. I think younger kids might get freaked out about some of the things that happen in this story.
Adult Written byHkboo2 January 31, 2009
Educator and Parent Written byFunner School September 4, 2014

Don't read this book. Please.

Review by a 12 year old: This is the worst book I have ever read. The kids are mean and very disrespectful to their parents. There is also a lot of bullying. One boy is thrown repeatedly against a chain link fence, and kids are hit several times. The older brother threatens to "hunt them down and beat them up," and he makes up stories of frozen dead people and deadly creatures to scare his younger siblings. He also steals food from a store and makes his parents pay for it. The mom tries to burn one of her children's hands for playing with matches. That's only half of it, but I think you get the idea not to read the book. If you think it might still be a good book that demonstrates racial segregation in the 1960's, you're wrong. Jim crow laws are only mentioned twice during the entire book. The grandmother's church is bombed at the end, which it only talks about for 10 pages. However, if you want the worst read of your life, order this book today. You won't be disappointed.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byFSDVNCUJFEVNIU May 15, 2012

Don't Read

The story”The Watsons Go to Birmingham,” isn’t that great of a book. It shouldn’t be for anyone under 10 at least. There is language used by a character in the story (a-word, d-word, s-word, and also Ni****.) The storyline is simple. It’s about a African-American family who lives during the civil rights movement. They make their way to Birmingham. They end up in the middle of the bombing. I won’t say what happened next, if you do decide to read the book. However this isn’t that great of a book. The mother of the kids, tried to burn one of her kids hands, because he disobeyed her. Also the book makes reference to Nazis trying to be funny. The author tries to be funny, but is not.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byagustina April 14, 2009
Kid, 12 years old February 22, 2009

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

Kid, 11 years old February 9, 2013

W0W

I used to hate reading as if it was a chore, but after this book I read a book a week. I even feel like my vocal has advanced all the 2 years ahead. My teacher saw all the advanced books I have read and let me skip 6th grade english! who knew reading one book could make such a diff!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bybabykajh May 18, 2009

I Loved It!

This book is in my reading class for a project and it is awesome! Well what I've read so far. On a scale of 1-10 I'd give it a 400000000! Lol. Haha.
Teen, 14 years old Written byxkittehx April 9, 2008
I loved this book. My friend did too, so maybe that's a good thing. I really recomend this to anyone who wants to read a good historical-fiction book.
Teen, 16 years old Written bynaomigaarder February 7, 2013

awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :XD

the book is good and funny
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old December 22, 2010
Byron says the H-word, the D-word, the S-word, and the A-word in this book. The people also says "Oh my god!" and "I swear to God" a lot which kind of offended me. Also, I don't like how Byron play with fire, cusses, kills baby birds, and punches second graders. Little kids might get upset when Byron kills a tiny baby bird with a Swedish Cremes cookie. Also, I got very worried in two scenes : One was the part with the bombing in the church, and two was Kenny's near-death experience with Wool-Pooh. Great book, but slightly edgy for young readers.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old January 19, 2010

Perfect for people age 9 to ?.

Love It ! It talks about people that were bullied because of their behavior, character, and looks.
Kid, 12 years old August 7, 2009

Great for kids 10-14

Great book, read it 8 monthes a go for school as a read-aloud book. Everyone enjoyed it.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Adult Written bywatersschool07 April 9, 2008

Great Family Book

This is a great book to read together as a family. It has a great way of showing the dynamics of the Watson family and the issues they face. It is so well written, that you find yourself really becoming a part of this family. It is a good way to explore history and how things were in the South. Told from a young boy's point of view, this story is a must read for families who want to get a view of the past but have some fun doing it.
Kid, 11 years old April 23, 2012

Lovve It

I love this book it is so funny for language arts we had to do a play off the book and i chose chapter 5 were Byron gets burnt up by Momma
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 4 years old October 13, 2010

Horable for teens and tweens mayby better for adults

IT sucks its sooooo boring i hateted it!!!!!
Adult Written bypopmom February 24, 2010

Great for tweens and teens

This book is good for older kids. It tells life how it really is not how it is in some fantsies. It also has a very good message.
Teen, 13 years old Written bygilgamesh April 24, 2015

best novel

This was a great novel. It had a lot of emotional punch in it but this book could have done less on hjistorical detail and swearing
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byskylerjc April 15, 2015

Not the best :/

Though the book is meant for kids, it surprised me when some bad language came up and it bothered me. I feel like the writing style was more for younger kids, but the content was not. The characters had very bad grammar, and even though this is meant to have a historical context, I still couldn't stand how they talked. I barely got myself through the book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much swearing
Adult Written byAshley Greene December 2, 2011

ok......

Byron uses minimal bad language but is still a hazard to kids under 10, and is very educational.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much swearing

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