author study christopher paul curtis
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Author Study - Christopher Paul Curtis. Monday, January 14, 2013. Early Life. Christopher Paul Curtis was born on May 10, 1953 in Flint, Michigan. He is the second of 5 children in his family. His parents were Herman E. Curtis, a doctor, and Leslie Curtis, a homemaker.

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early life
Early Life
  • Christopher Paul Curtis was born on May 10, 1953 in Flint, Michigan.
  • He is the second of 5 children in his family.
  • His parents were Herman E. Curtis, a doctor, and Leslie Curtis, a homemaker.
  • Both of his parents loved to read, and so did Christopher. However, Christopher had trouble finding books about African-American kids like himself.
  • Teacher – Ms. Suzanne Henry-Jakeaway
  • Class in School – History
  • Book – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Curtis went to work at Fisher Body Flint Plant No. 1, where he worked on an assembly line putting together cars to help his parents support the family.
  • He graduated from high school in 1971.
  • After graduating he started working full time with his father at the Fisher Body plant.
  • He worked on the assembly line for thirteen years.
  • At night he went to school part time at the University of Michigan.
While at the University of Michigan, Curtis received the Avery Hopwood and the Jules Hopwood Prize for major essays for an early draft of The Watsons Go to Birmingham.
  • Curtis loved to write, but didn’t have time between working full time at the plant and going to school at night.
  • After Curtis left his job at the plant, he worked odd jobs as a campaign worker, a maintenance man, a customer service representative, a warehouse clerk, and a purchasing clerk.
  • In 1993, his wife told him to find a new job and do something constructive or they would have to find a new place to him.
With encouragement from his wife and dreams for the future, Curtis spend the next year at the library working on his first book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963.
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham was named a Newbery Honor Book and a Corette Scott King Honor Book.
  • It was also the only book for young readers to make the New York Times list of top 100 books of the year.
other books by christopher paul curtis
Other Books By Christopher Paul Curtis
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963
  • Bud, Not Buddy
  • Bucking The Sarge
  • Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money
  • Mr. Chickee’s Messy Mission
  • The Mighty Miss Malone
if you could interview christopher paul curtis what questions would you ask
If you could interview Christopher Paul Curtis, what questions would you ask?
  • As a class, brainstorm a list of questions you would ask Christopher Paul Curtis if you could interview him.
  • Record the questions you would ask on the board.
  • After brainstorming a list of questions, each student should pick 5 questions from the list that they would like to ask and record the questions on their Interview Planning Sheet.
meet christopher paul curtis
Meet Christopher Paul Curtis

Here are some videos of an interview with Christopher Paul Curtis.

Clips to watch:

  • Writing in the Rust Belt
  • A Look Inside the Factory
  • Rejection
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham
  • Along for the Ride
  • Four Rules for Young Writers