The fourth title in NPR’s Backseat Book Club for kids is The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis, (RH/Delacorte), winner of both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King award. On NPR’s Web site, All Things Considered host Michelle Norris describes it as “a modern classic…the story of a hilarious 10-year-old named Kenny whose family is quirky, proud and loving” and their journey from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama in the summer of 1963, where they encounter a critical turning point in the Civil Rights movement, the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th St. Baptist Church. Norris, whose family is from Birmingham, says this choice is perfect for January because the book will “entertain and inform young readers as the country remembers the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. for the national holiday in his name.”
The December pick, Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu was featured on All Things Considered last night. As a result, it rose on Amazon’s sales ranking to #293 from #1,152. Published this year, it was on both PW and SLJ‘s Best Books lists (see our spreadsheet which rounds up the major 2011 Childrens and Young Adult best books picks for the year).