Recently, our class finished reading the book The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. It was a historical fiction novel and I thought it was very good. At the beginning it was just a story about a family called the ‘Weird’ Watsons, but it slowly developed into a very intense story. The main character was Kenny, the middle child in the family, supporting characters include Byron Watson, Kenny’s brother, Joetta Watson, Kenny’s little sister, and his parents Daniel and Wilona.
At the beginning, Kenny and Byron are not very nice to each other. They constantly argue, and Byron always bullies Kenny. But as the story goes on, Byron develops more of a caring brother persona. The plot basically centers around a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, where Wilona’s mother Grandma Sands lives. They go because Byron has become such a big bully that his parents want to teach him a lesson. At Birmingham, Kenny enters a small clearing and almost drowns from a whirlpool, and has hallucinations of a wool pooh, of which his brother said was Winnie The Pooh’s evil twin. But things get horrid when a bomb goes off in the 16th Street Baptist Church, where Joetta was going to Sunday school. But Joey survived because she claimed to see Kenny and that she followed him.
Although the Watsons are not real, the bomb went off in an African-American church in Birmingham Alabama. And 4 little girls died, and many more were injured. This was the extent of the discrimination that went on in the United States back in the 1960s. And although it is much, much better now, people still do discriminate. So I hope that people help others that are being discriminated, maybe by standing up for the, or even by just talking to them. Discrimination is truly a horrible thing.