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Publisher's Summary

Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There's Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, Kenny, and Byron, Kenny's older brother, who at thirteen is an "official juvenile delinquent."
When Momma and Dad decide it's time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the amazing Ultra-Glide, and the Watsons set out on a trip like no other. Heading south, they're going to Birmingham, Alabama, and toward one of the darkest moments in America's history.
By turns comic, tragic and touching, this remarkable Newbery Honor work, delightfully performed by LeVar Burton in this unabridged production, will delight listeners young and old as they meet Christopher Paul Curtis, a storyteller of bold ambition and a true and original voice, and his inimitable Watsons.
©1995 Christopher Paul Curtis (P)1996 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Critic Reviews

"Marvelous...both comic and deeply moving." (The New York Times Book Review)
"An exceptional first novel." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Emily on 08-26-14

Funny and Poignant Look at Civil Rights Era

I purchased this audio for my 12 year old and me to listen to, thinking it would be an introduction to the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that killed 4 little girls (note I had always heard them referred to as the "four little girls" but I was interested to learn that they were 14).

It starts out pretty far away from that, as a mostly humorous look at an African American family in Flint, MI. My son liked how the book progressed as a series of vignettes, which made it easier to pause the book and resume listening later. There were many funny moments which I wasn't expecting.

Once we got to the end, "our" family has lived through the bombing and is dealing with the aftermath. Over the following days, my son continued to question why people would have killed children to prevent having to go to school and restaurants with people of a different race. It is a very hard situation to understand, and I thought this book did a great job of making it present for him, as opposed to an event in history that's impossible to understand or experience.

LeVar Burton is a wonderful narrator. He has a thoroughly pleasing voice that would be suitable to any number of books -- he dealt with the comedic and tragic aspects equally well. I plan to look for other books he's recorded.

The book ends with a brief overview of the history, which my son enjoyed almost as much as the fictional story.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Bryan McEntire on 04-15-15

💗This book rocks.💗

This book is better than any other book I have read,
I would recommend this book for ages 9-13! Teachers should read this book to there kids. 💖READ💖

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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