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Last Updated: Sep 4, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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"If not us, then Who? If not now, then when? Will there be a better day for it tomorrow or next year? Will it be less dangerous then? Will someone else's children have to risk their lives instead of us risking ours?"    

~John Lewis, May 16, 1961, Nashville~  

The purpose of this lib guide is to help students recognize the cultural and historic characteristics of the Civil Rights Movement as it influenced Chirstopher Paul Curtis' book The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963,  and, ultimately, the journey each individual makes during their lifetime. Students will learn how that journey shapes them as  indivduals, and in turn, how individuals join together to shape us as a nation. 

This guide links students to resources available in the library and on the internet; resources that will  aide in their investigation of the historical events surrounding the Watson's journey to Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. 



Meet the Author

“The Watsons will always be special to
me because it broke me out of the
warehouse I was working in. I’m doing
something that I want to do, finally.”

~Christopher Paul Curtis~

(Click on the picture above  to watch an interview with Mr. Curtis. You will need the Saint Mary's Hall login/password to view the video clip from the Teaching Books website.)


Watsons Go to Birmimham 1963


I Have A Dream Speedh

Click on the picture to watch the video and listen to the speech.

Discovery Plus:


Ask A Teaching Professional Teacher

Email your teacher.


Ask a librarian


Ask the Author & Historical Expert



Email Ms. Bausum

Students at Saint Mary's Hall will have an opportunity to take their literary journey and write with author,  Ann Bausum, winner of The Robert F. Sibert Book Award , the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children,  and the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award.  As they explore the events that unfold in the novel, they will be have the opportunity to step back in literature and history with an author who has studied and written about the Civil Rights Movement in detail that goes well beyond conventional studies of The Watsons Go to Birmingham.  They will read a companion piece to the novel, Freedom Riders:John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement.


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