Christopher Paul Curtis By Mary Smith and Debra Atkins
Biography • Born in Flint, Michigan • Spent 13 years working at an assembly plant • Married with two children • His family inspired his writing especially his wife • His hobbies are playing basketball, collecting old record albums and writing • His favorite authors are Toni Morrison, Kurt Vonnegut, Zora Neale Hurston http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/collection.jsp?id=49
Bibliography • Mr. Chickee’s Messy Misson • Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money • Bucking the Sarge • Bud, Not Buddy • The Watsons Go to Birmingham -1963 • Elijah of Buxton
Awards • Winner 2000 - ALA Coretta Scott King AwardWinner 2000 - ALA Notable Children's BooksWinner 1999 - School Library Journal Best Books of the YearWinner 2000 - IRA Children's Book Award for Older ReadersWinner 2000 - ALA Best Books for Young AdultsWinner 2000 - ALA Coretta Scott King AwardWinner - ALA Best Books for Young AdultsWinner 1999 - Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year
Readers Response Debra, 17 Student at Eastern Hills High School I read The Watsons go to Birmingham and I thought it was very good. It book was very humorous in parts the Watson family was very funny. The book takes on a very serious tone after the bombing at the church. I learned more about the bombing after reading the book because I went and read a history book.
Literary Review The Watsons go to Birmingham 1963: I was very impressed with Christopher’s style of writing. Anyone that has a sibling can indentify with this book. Christopher brings an humorous side to sibling rivalry however they do come together when the need arises. Then out of no where Christopher Paul hits you with a historical event that changes the lives of everyone.
Classroom Applications Writing Prompts, English This is also a very good book that a variety of writing prompts can be designed from. One possible prompt would relate to Chapter 11 when the Watsons get ready to meet Grandma Sands. Kenny had certain expectations about what Grandma Sands would be like. He imagined a huge, mean looking woman. When he finally meets her, she turns out to be a small woman who welcomes the family with open arms. Ask students if they have ever met someone who was nothing like what they expected. Have them describe the situation telling what they expected and what they found. Map Skills , Social Studies Talk about the Watsons traveling from Flint to Birmingham. See if students can remember where each place was located. Use a U.S. map that shows interstate highways. Go over possible routes that the Watsons could have taken. With the class, calculate the distance in miles of one of the routes. Make sure students understand how to use the map key to calculate the distance. Have students have a place on the map that they would like to travel to in the U.S. They are to write out a specific route that can be taken from their city to the location chosen. Students will then calculate the distance between the two locations using the map key.
Literary Review Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money I didn’t find this book to be as good as The Watson’s go to Birmingham, Steven always helps Mr. Chickee on Saturdays morning go to the store. Mr. Chickee would always buy him a ginger ale and bag of chips, but not this Saturday he gave him a piece of funny money and the mystery begun from that point. Steven imagined he was a private investiagtor.
Classroom Application What is a Mystery? Objective Student will understand what mysteries are by discussing mysteries they have read or seen on TV. Purpose Social : Sharing Ideas Instructions: Discussion Etiquette • Speak so that others can hear you • Listen to each other • Take turns talking • Encouraging each other Discussions Questions • What do you think a mystery is? • When you think about a mystery, what comes to mind? • What is your favorite mystery book, movie, or TV program? • What do you find suspenseful? • How did the author make you cautious? • What do you think makes a good mystery?
Bud not Buddy • Literary Review • The author was able to connect with his young reader by using the voice of the main character, 10 year old Bud to tell this story. Bud appeared to be very mature for his age, but his indecent was still very apparent. Bud takes his audience on a journey that was full of suspense, humor, and sadness all at the same time. This book was a very delightful and easy to read.
Readers Response • Grade Level: 5th • Classroom Applications: Language Art: Students will bring a suitcase with five items that represent who you are or a special memory .Students must write a paragraph for each item. Social Studies: Student will work in group to research the Depression Era using sources from the library , and the internet. Each group will present to the class their findings. Math: Students will complete a timeline of the events surrounding this era.
Elijah of Buxton • Literary Review The author allows eleven year old Elijah be the narrator of this story . He was The first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves. Elijah takes his audience on a journey to American that is full of excitement, danger, and hope. Elijah draws his readers into this book with humor, suspense, and sadness with the thing he must witness, and the decision he has to make.
Readers Response • Grade Level 5th Classroom Application: • Language Art: • Students will work in groups of four to create a newspaper article describing events that occurred as a slave entered into Buxton . • Social Studies: • The settlement at Buxton was founded for escaped slaves from the United States of America by researching this web site http://www.buxtonmuseum.com/ • Math: Students will complete a graph that depict the distance slaves travel to reach Canada. http://www.teachertimesavers.com/Elijah%20Samples.pdf