The Watsons Go To BirminghamTo celebrate Friday night’s debut of the film adaptation of the award-winning novel, “The Watsons Go To Birmingham,” MyBrownBaby is teaming up with the Random House Audio to hook up one lucky reader with a bundle of audio books for their family library, including the Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King award-winning book by Christopher Paul Curtis, plus four (!) more award-winning audio books that commemorate the Civil Rights movement: “Elijah of Buxton,” by Curtis; “The Lions of Little Rock,” by Kristin Levine; “We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Children’s March,” by Cynthia Levinson, and; “Crow,” by Barbara Wright.

The crown of this offering is “The Watsons” audiobook, narrated by LeVar Burton. The story is told from the point of view of Kenny, the 10-year-old middle child of “The Weird Watsons,” who give his blow-by-blow chronicles of the alternately hilarious and touching story of a family that spends a summer with their tiny, strict grandmother in Birmingham, Alabama. Little do they know that they will be witness to one of the darkest moments in the Civil Rights movement: thee bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963.

Listening Library encourages moms, dads and our children to experience history by listening to audiobooks and discussing them together as a family. Sharing literature about the Civil Rights movement, such as “The Watsons Go To Birmingham,” allows us to continue a necessary dialogue about the past and its impact on our society today. Author Christopher Paul Curtis is a big proponent of listening to stories with kids, and he shared this quote with us during a recent interview:

“Listening to something together as a family is just plain old fun. … Children understand that just because it happened fifty years ago does not mean ‘I am not a part of this.’ Storytelling is so important [because] it allows the young people to speculate and to try to understand the issue from a whole different point of view. Often when we read history, or you see something on television, it’s very cold and there’s really no life to it. A story brings life to it… There’s an immediacy that comes from storytelling that just isn’t there in a history book.”

Want to stock your family’s audio library with these five awesome titles? Enter to win this bundle of awesome storytelling goodness in the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Subscribe to the all-new MyBrownBaby Hot List, our new newsletter, where we’ll be offering up exclusive content, contests and special offers. Subscribing to the MyBrownBaby Hot List is mandatory. Tweet, “like” this post on Facebook and comment on this post for additional chances to win.

The MyBrownBaby Civil Rights Audio Book Library contest ends Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.—the day “The Watsons Go To Birmingham” starring Anika Noni Rose, David Alan Grier, LaTonya Richardson and Wood Harris debuts on the Hallmark Channel. Winners will be chosen randomly and announced on this post on September 20, 2013. YOU MUST LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS VIA RAFFLECOPTER so that I can contact you if you’ve won. Prizes will be fulfilled by Random House Audio.

Meanwhile, click here to listen to an exclusive Q&A with Christopher Paul Curtis and LeVar Berton as they discuss how storytelling can impart history’s lessons to a new generation, and how hearing a story read aloud can help foster a love of reading. Good luck!

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. One of my favorite Civil Rights children’s book is The Story of Ruby Bridges.

  2. *books

  3. I think my favorite is Christopher Paul Curtis’ Bud, Not Buddy. I’ve read a few of his books, they are always sooo good!

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