The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

During my first year as a Spanish teacher, every single student, teacher, and staff at my middle school got a copy of this book. We read it together over several weeks, and teachers were asked to incorporate the book into their lesson ideas as much as possible. I was working part time, and my principal said I was not obligated to participate. But, I fell in love with the characters and the story and I made sure we took time out of our classes every week to have a discussion of the assigned chapters.

I grew up in Colombia, and while I attended an American school, American history, and especially more recent history that was barely in the textbooks, was rather nebulous and disconnected from my own life. This book made me aware of events and circumstances that have radically changed how I approach people at school and in the larger community.

— Submitted by Bea Leiderman, Instructional Technology Coach, Goochland High School