Friday, May 10, 2013

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, Chapter 1

The Watsons might be going to Birmingham, as the title suggests, but they live in Flint, Michigan. You're Wisconsin kids. You know what winters can be like here. Why would winters be similar in Flint?

When Dad imitates Hambone Henderson, he says that a movie called Nanook of the North was filmed in Flint, Mitch-again. Was it really? Nanook of the North is a real movie filmed in 1922. Take a look at this clip. What was Hambone trying to tell Wilona?

After Dad's creative impression of Hambone  Henderson, Momma says that "Birmingham is a good place, and I don't mean just the weather either. The life is slower, the people are friendlier--" but Dad interrupts with a comment about the 'Coloreds Only' bathrooms there. What is that all about? Keep that in the back of your mind as we continue reading.

Dallas 'Whites Only' Water Foundation Shares Civil Rights Story
This isn't a bathroom, but the picture still helps us understand what Dad is talking about.

Finally, we are introduced to the Brown Bomber, a 1948 Plymouth that Dad got from Uncle Bud. Take a look at this picture and compare it to the description in the book and the events that happen around the car. (Sorry, but I couldn't find a good image of a brown one.)


  1. I use your blogs for Wonder and now for Watson's! THANK YOU - you're helping "lighten the load" for so many of us! LOVE IT!

    1. My students love the Wonder references. I have used it for the past few years. My students asked for them for City of Ember!!! Thanks for sharing.

    2. City of Ember would be an interesting one to do. You could turn it over to your students to see what they have questions about. Any time they ask, "What's that?" or don't understand the technical parts of keeping Ember running, that would be a bit of background knowledge to add. I'd love to hear what students suggest.


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