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Author Christopher Paul Curtis Visits Oak Park Schools

Acclaimed children's author will read to fourth and fifth grade students on Tuesday.

Award-winning children's author Christopher Paul Curtis will pay a visit to local grade school students on Tuesday.

Curtis, 58, has written several acclaimed books, including The Watsons Go to Birmingham1963, which follows a young troublemaker's travels from Flint, Mich. (Curtis' hometown) to live with his grandmother in Alabama at the height of tension in the Civil Rights movement.

The debut novel was a runaway success, quickly earning a Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King award and the American Library Association's "Best Book for Young Adults" award.

For Curtis, the journey from former Flint factory worker to literary hero — The New York Times called him "a master at balancing the serious and the lighthearted" — is remarkable. His story is summarized in the attached video, and outlined in a reader's guide to Watsons, also attached.

Following Watsons, Curtis went on to author Bud, Not Buddy, a novel that "hits the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression" and earned him another Newbery Award. He's also written Bucking the Sarge and a pair of lighter-fare books, Mr. Chickee's Funny Money and Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission.

On Tuesday, he'll visit students from Whittier and Beye grade schools at in the morning, followed by an afternoon session with Whittier and Irving students at . The visit was arranged by the . 

Curtis is expected to read from and sign copies of his latest work, The Mighty Miss Malone.

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