I enjoyed Elijah of Buxton so much, I thought I'd listen to something else by Christopher Paul Curtis. So I downloaded The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and I was not disappointed. This book has won the California Young Readers Medal, The Coretta Scott King Award, and a Newbery Honor. The Watsons, nicknamed the 'Weird Watsons' by their neighbors, are an average African-American family living in Flint, Michigan. The story is told by the middle child Kenny who has a lazy eye. Byron, the oldest of the Watson siblings whom they've nicknamed 'Daddy Cool', has been getting in to lots of trouble, or in Byron's words, having 'wild adventures.' Byron's parents decide it would be good for Byron to spend the summer with his grandmother in Alabama, where he might learn some manners. The whole family treks from Flint to Birmingham in the family car, the 'brown bomber' but they all get a bigger dose of reality than they were prepared for. Every family has their funny stories, the big family moments that each family member remembers just a little bit differently. This is how Kenny relays this story to the readers, through a hilarious series of family moments, similar to the way Ralphie narrates "A Christmas Story." I think everyone will be able to see a bit of their own family in the Watsons. And kids, be sure you ask your parents (or grandparents) about the cartoon references - Felix the Cat, Beanie and Cecil, and Soupy Sales!
In other news, Knuffle Bunny, Free by our pal Mo Willems is out today! I will get a copy of this for the library as soon as I can. In the mean time, check out the Pigeon's webpage. Good times!