Birmingham Sunday (Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards))

by Larry Dane Brimner

Hardcover, 2010


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Call number

J 323.1 Bir


Calkins Creek (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 48 pages


Learn about the bomb blast that rocked the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on Sunday morning, September 15, 1963, killing four young girls.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member lilibrarian
A history of the racial strife in Alabama in the 1960's culminating in the bombing of a black church and the death of 6 young people.
LibraryThing member KarenBall
"Suddenly at 10:22, a dynamite blast rocked the building. Stained glass windows shattered. And thirty-inch-thick stone and brick walls thundered, tumbling in on the five young girls." This is the story of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on Sunday, September 15, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama.
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It is one of the most horrible acts of terrorism during the Civil Rights Movement. Four 6th to 8th grade girls died that morning, two teenage boys who were outside the church also died that day, and many others were injured in the explosion. The purpose of the bombing was to intimidate people into silence, but this and other acts of brutality turned public opinion against racism and segregation, and led many to support the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Brimner uses stories, photos, and primary source documents to describe the history of segregation, Jim Crow laws, and racism through the culture of the American South. He focuses especially on Birmingham as a flash point for terrorism engineered by the Ku Klux Klan. There were so many bombings that the city was nicknamed "Bombingham." The book's design highlights quotes, laws, and facts, with excellent archival photos that will bring the events to life for readers. The photo I found most disturbing actually had the least violence. On page 17, there is a full-page photo of fully-robed and hooded Klansmen at a rally, with young children also dressed in robes and hoods. Racism and prejudice is learned early, and breaking that cycle is one of the most important things education can do. 6th grade and up.
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LibraryThing member lindamamak
The bombing of a black church in 1963, was the culminating experience of many prior incidences. This book looks at each of the events that lead up to this bombing. Great historical facts.
LibraryThing member ymelodie
By providing these types of literary pieces, the horrors of our history can be discussed and pondered. The history is compelling and worth the opportunity to share.
LibraryThing member 1derlys
Pictorial of the bombing of the Sixth Street Church in Birmingham 1963. The retelling is backed by photos of eyewitness accounts fo the church, march, police spraying fire hose at children, peaceful arrests, and ending segregation in schools, The last pages are dedicated to the girls that lost
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their lives that Sunday, and to two boys that also lost their lives as a result of the highly charged atmosphere and hatred. It shares the photos of the two bombers that were brought to trial for murder and how justice prevails even after almost 50 years of being free.
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LibraryThing member pyattlori
Another great nonfiction about African-American history. I have become really interested in using multiple stories in my classes. I'm tired of the single story mentality, that only white writers are given any merit while authors and illustrators of color aren't given a strong voice in our schools.
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It's a disservice to our children and their education to exclude these books. All of that to say, I love this information books that offer and detailed and not a dumb-downed or sugarcoated look at our history. I love that the story is not linear. I love that he bounces between a formal informational style of writing to a narrative style. I love how he gives some personality to the four girls involved in the bombing, and also sheds light onto the two boys who were also killed that day, but rarely have their story told. This was a fantastic book that my students would learn so much from.
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LibraryThing member gradschool14
A touching story about that fateful day that 6 children died because of the color of their skin. It tells of all of the high and low points that led up to that horrible day and pays tribute to the children that died in the blast.
LibraryThing member Talwold
Great read detailing the bombing of a church that killed 4 girls. It happened in 1963 during all of the racial tension.
LibraryThing member cm37107
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
September 15, 1963 was a turning point for Civil Rights. At the 16th Street Baptist Church, Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were in the church basement. Primping their hair and smiling in the mirrors, the girls wanted to look nice because they were to be a
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part of the children's service that morning.

As a car outside the church drove away, a bomb, approximately 19-25 sticks of dynamite placed under the stairwell, near the bathrooms, exploded thereby ending the lives of four innocent little girls, harming 23 others, and maiming another whose swollen bandaged face showed that one of her eyes would never again have sight. Two young boys were also killed that day, one shot by a policeman who claimed he thought the boy had "something in his hands."

The walls of the church were 30 inches thick. Known as a meeting place for Civil Rights activists, this particular church was targeted as a statement by a sub group of the KKK. It took years to finally find justice. But, in the meantime, this brutal act by cowards, became a turning point, and on that day children who died, did not perish in vain.

Finally, Birmingham, Alabama, also known as "Bombingham" led people who were normally complacent, to stand up for all that was wrong in the hope that all that was good could shine through.

This is a well-written, documented book that also outlines the racist events leading up to the September event. The children's broken bodies were a testimony to all that was wrong with Jim Crow. This act was so horrid that it could not be overlooked.
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Physical description

48 p.; 11.24 x 10.2 inches


1590786130 / 9781590786130
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