Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 3 - 7Grades 5 - 10U5.050225
A wonderful middle-grade novel narrated by Kenny, 9, about his middle-class black family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. When Kenny's 13-year-old brother, Byron, gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma's church is blown up.

From the Hardcover edition.
Published on May 1, 1996 by Doubleday Books
ISBN-10: 0385317379
ISBN-13: 9780385317375
60 Book Reviews
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  • bookwormdude29
    bookwormdude29Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 3:30 pm55 starsFeatured
    A great book! Definitely a wonderful choice for readers of all ages. Kenny Watson, an African -American boy, embarks on a few adventures, but the real major adventure is when the whole Watson must go south to Birmingham, Alabama. Why, you ask? Byron, Kenny’s older brother had been stirring up a LOT of trouble, such as setting toilet paper on FIRE, and also straightening his hair, so Kenny’s parents think he should stay with Grandma Sands for a while, since Grandma Sands will not accept any form of trouble at all. While in Birmingham, the family notices some extremely discriminatory events (segregation), but the final straw is when a church near Grandma Sands’s is destroyed by a BOMB, so they all decide to head home, even Byron. This book is an awesome realistic-fiction, and it really cracked me up some of the time. Definitely recommended.
    • pro138
      pro138Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 6:48 am55 stars
      its a nice book
      • swirlycool
        swirlycoolSunday, April 28, 2019 at 9:47 am44 stars
        The Watsons Go To Birmingham- 1963 is a novel about a 9 year old boy named Kenny. When his brother, Byron, keeps getting into mischief and trouble, they decide to all go to Birmingham, Alabama to change his ways for the summer. After driving from Michigan to Birmingham, they arrive at their Grandma’s home. However, there is racism going on in Birmingham. The worst thing that happened was the bombing of Grandma’s church. In my opinion, the thing that changed Byron was when Kenny almost died in the water. The bombing of Grandma’s church had also caused Byron to mature. Overall, this book is humorous mixed with heartbreaking events. I recommend it to fifth graders and above, due to some language in this book. However, it depends on the maturity of the reader who is reading this book. In conclusion, I give it a 4/5. This book was great except for the fact that the author could have wrote more when the setting was Birmingham. The ending was kind of abrupt to me, as I thought there could have been more pages after it. I recommend it to people who love to read comedy, or people who are interested in history.
        • Reader/reviewerWednesday, December 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm
          Awesome Book!!!! I'm in the middle of it and its great!!!!
          • pobubaredi
            pobubarediThursday, November 2, 2017 at 11:23 am55 stars
            On a cold winter day in Michigan, the Watson's decide to go down to Alabama where their grandma lives. But, their is a lot of racism going on in Alabama. Will the Watson's stay safe?
            • awsepicavi
              awsepicaviFriday, February 3, 2017 at 8:02 am44 stars
              I decided to read this book because it was for my reading group in school. I really enjoy it so far. It seems boring at the beginning but when you get deeper into the book you will like it a lot more. Enjoy it!
              • LolThursday, January 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm
                This book was good I guess
                • eggcritic
                  eggcriticThursday, January 12, 2017 at 10:43 am33 stars
                  I was assigned The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 for reading, and upon finishing, I became no better or worse than I was before. It is neither bad or good. Or, it can be simply described as "above mediocre." This is a good novel with good lessons and such, but it's not something I would pick up and read. The characters are all lovable and changing; The characters are all believable and nicely described. It could be the most shining point of the book. Our characters go to Birmingham at a time where civil inequality was at its high point, right during the unfortunate Birmingham 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, where one of the characters, one of the most charismatic, is affected. This only unfolds in the last four chapters; The entirety of the book is just Watson misadventures, especially the brother Byron, dubbed a "child delinquent" and the younger brother, Kenny, from whom the perspective of the book comes from, who is dubbed, "Pointdexter." The beginning does a good job connecting our characters to the reader, and giving them life so they don't become cliches in the near future, where a potentially bad made-for-TV movie could lie... You'll enjoy the humor in the book, especially during the early chapters. Running jokes, moments to laugh, and it gets packed in a nice ending. The book is not perfect as we take too long to get to Birmingham which is the title of the book. The pace is slow, and we should've spent more time on Birmingham, since we blow right through it. It's either slow or fast, in that order. Read it if you're out of things to read. Otherwise, it can be passable.
                  • heara
                    hearaThursday, June 2, 2016 at 5:46 am
                    It is fun.
                    • egypt
                      egyptMonday, April 11, 2016 at 10:49 am33 stars
                      I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys family humor. This book is about a boy named Kenny and he goes to Birmingham with his family. He gets to Birmingham in his dad's car that has a new Ultra Glide (a record player). His family mishaps, like too much peanut butter in the peanut butter sandwich. When they get to Birmingham, the church is bombed and their sister Joey barely escapes alive. This is a wonderful book and I hope you read it.