Birmingham Sunday
Birmingham Sunday
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Annotation: An account of the racially motivated bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 that resulted in the deaths of four children telling how the tragedy spurred the passage of the landmark 1964 civil rights legislation.
Catalog Number: #4490820
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition Date: 2010
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-590-78613-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-590-78613-0
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This moving photo-essay covers much more than just an account of the Birmingham, Alabama, Baptist Church bombing that killed four young girls in 1963. The detailed text, illustrated with black-and-white photos on every spacious double-page spread, sets the shocking assassination of the children within a general overview of both the racist segregation of the times and the struggle against it. The civil rights history includes the start of the NAACP, the resistance of Rosa Parks, sit-ins at lunch counters, the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and more. Also included are specific examples of racist hatred, including Police Commissioner Connor's order to use fire hoses on young African American children. One of the most shocking photos shows Klan members at a rally with their children in full regalia. Final pages feature full-page biographies with small portraits of each of the four girls as well as the two young boys who died on the streets. Many readers will use the extensive source notes and bibliography that close this close view of that tragic Sunday.
Kirkus Reviews
Brimner focuses on the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and successfully illuminates in chronological order the events, social tensions and political reverberations of that terror-filled time. Beginning with personal information about each of the four girls killed in the blast, he then introduces powerful figures or groups, some not well known, on both sides of the Civil Rights Movement. They are brought to life with information gleaned from various primary sources including FBI reports, police surveillance files, court transcripts and oral-history accounts. Each victim of the bombing and each advocate emerges for readers through quotes, black-and-white photographs and engaging, descriptive prose. Sidebars provide related information about the Movement and augment the highly accessible text. On the final pages are profiles of those responsible for the brutal bombing and the justice they finally received. A standout book for its thorough research and comprehensive look at the incident that led to the 1964 passage of civil-rights legislation. (further reading, author's note, source notes, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 6 Up September 16, 1963, was one of the most horrific days in American history. On a quiet Sunday morning, the Sixteenth Street Baptist church was bombed, and four little girls were killed. The author successfully blends the facts of the event with the intense emotions of the period in order to bring it to life. The facts regarding Jim Crow, segregation, as well as civil rights successes in bus integration and the Brown v. Board of Education ruling are explored in order to provide the context for the tragic event. These facts propelled African Americans to become even more hopeful and determined to achieve equality while those who opposed equality between whites and blacks became even more invested in seeing their efforts fail at any cost. Thorough research that includes FBI files, police surveillance records, and primary-source documents gives a detailed and fascinating look at the intense, decades-long federal and state investigation. This information, accompanied by the personal reflections from both the families of the victims and the perpetrators, ensures that readers will never forget the human impact of this significant part of the Civil Rights Movement. The book is beautifully designed, with good-quality, black-and-white photos, informative captions, and pertinent pull quotes. A worthy addition to any collection. Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ
Word Count: 9,766
Reading Level: 8.2
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 8.2 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 135221 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:9.8 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q49079
Lexile: NC1190L

Racial bombings were so frequent in Birmingham that it became known as "Bombingham." Until September 15, 1963, these attacks had been threatening but not deadly. On that Sunday morning, however, a blast in the 16th Street Baptist Church ripped through the exterior wall and claimed the lives of four girls. The church was the ideal target for segregationists, as it was the rallying place for Birmingham's African American community, Martin Luther King, Jr., using it as his "headquarters" when he was in town to further the cause of desegregation and equal rights. Rather than triggering paralyzing fear, the bombing was the definitive act that guaranteed passage of the landmark 1964 civil rights legislation. Birmingham Sunday, a Jane Addams Children's Honor Book, NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book, and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year, centers on this fateful day and places it in historical context.

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