Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Tyndale House While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook

Tyndale House While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook

Carolyn Maull McKinstry is a survivor of the Civil Rights struggle and an eyewitness to the Sept. 15, 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. As a teenager, she marched under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and bravely faced Bull Connor's German shepherds and stinging fire hoses during the battle for equal rights in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. While the World Watched is a personal eyewitness account of life in the South from a young girl's vantage point. Bombings, riots, assasinations, and civil rights marches were all a daily part of Carolyn's life in Alabama. As you explore this recent time in history, it's wonderful to see how far we've come and a wake-up call to how far we've yet to go.
Average Customer Rating:
4.833 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(12 Reviews) 12
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (12 reviews)
5 stars
10
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
12 out of 12100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Review 1 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

While the World Watched

Date:July 21, 2014
Customer Avatar
Amy C
Location:VA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
While the World Watched is an amazing read. It amazes me how cruel the world can be. I cannot grasp the cruelty Carolyn and others like her endured in her lifetime. I was born in the south a decade after the civil rights movement. I did not see how those Jim Crow Laws affected people. Or see those senseless signs saying Colored or Whites Only. The civil rights era was such a violent time. I have heard stories or seen documentaries about it. Carolyn's story puts everything into a new perspective. How could a free country treat free people that way?
I did enjoy this book. So inspiring to learn the power of forgiveness. Carolyn is an inspiring person of her race - the human race. The book includes Martin Luther King's speeches, list of the senseless Jim Crow Laws, and various letters from people of the era to the present time.
I recommend this book to those who wants to learn more of the civil rights movement from an inspiring woman who lived through it. It is one of those books that makes the reader think about it long after it is been read.
5 stars.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Intense and Educational

Date:July 6, 2014
Customer Avatar
eb7bibliophile
Location:High Desert West
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This beautiful lady gives us a personal glimpse into a tragic day and era, as well as a brave look into her own pain and devastation, so that we can see her healing and gain insight into forgiveness. The message is one of love and reconciliation, after opening our eyes to the evils of the racial situation. The events are depicted in a professional and compelling way with her co-author. The quotes from speeches and reports enhance the narrative. They give it more historical interest. The photos are illuminating and some are chilling. They help make the account more real. Despite some repetition, this is an excellent and worthwhile book.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Huge impact

Date:June 27, 2014
Customer Avatar
Jennie Wren
Location:Royalton, MN
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I was only three years old when the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed. Combined with the fact I grew up in Wisconsin and North Dakota, I had no idea of the details of this tragedy, much less the big picture of the life of black people in the South and the Civil Rights Movement. I have not yet read two biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr. that sit on my shelf, but I had at least heard of the bombing. Carolyn's story filled a huge hole in my consciousness of the events that have shaped our country. It's the story of Carolyn's experiences that day and how her life was forever impacted by them - but she places her experiences within the context of the larger Civil Rights struggles all over the South. I'm very grateful she put these things into words.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Interesting

Date:June 10, 2014
Customer Avatar
Virginia
Location:upstate NY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is the true story of a bombing that took place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. The author was in the building that was bombed and tells her story, both before and after the event. I thought this book was good and an interesting and true picture of life during the Civil Rights movement.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An inspirational tale of forgiveness

Date:June 4, 2011
Customer Avatar
abookandacuppa
Location:Prairie Village, KS
Age:45-54
Gender:female
This story of a survivor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963 is informative, heart wrenching, and inspirational. Highly recommended!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An eye-opening read

Date:February 25, 2011
Customer Avatar
Marg
Location:Alberta, Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
While the World Watched is a book that everyone should read. It tells the story of Carolyn Maull McKinstry and her account of growing up in Alabama during the Civil Rights era. At that time Birmingham, Alabama was the most segregated city in the US, was home to the South's most violent KKK chapter, and became the center of the Civil Rights struggle for African-Americans.
On the morning of September 15, 1963 Carolyn was attending her church, known as the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. She escaped death by just moments when a Klan-planted bomb went off, killing four of her close friends that she had just spoken with in a church bathroom. Carolyn tells of the horror of this event as well as the fallout experienced in the city she lived in and the rest of the country during a tragic time in American history.
Carolyn writes of this dark time in American history, but she also writes of her spiritual walk and how it took many years for her to come to peace with what happened. Her wish is to encourage all people and all races to love each other as God loves us and that changes can be made in this world by how we treat our fellow man.
Though I had some idea of what went on during the Civil Rights era, I learned so much from this book. How there was so much violence and hatred, rigid segregation laws, corrupt government and officials. This was also an inspiring read as Carolyn writes of her eventual forgiveness of those involved and her encouragement and desire to make this world a better place.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

touching account of Birmingham bombing

Date:February 21, 2011
Customer Avatar
bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Fourteen year old Carolyn Maull had just talked with her friends in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church's restroom. She was rushing to finish her Sunday School records work of that day in September of 1963 when the bomb exploded. Her four friends were dead and Carolyn's life was changed forever.
In the days following the bombing, no one spoke about the tragedy. Just like when Pres. Kennedy was assassinated a few months later, “...no one talked. Black folk had been conditioned to look the other way when tragedy struck, especially of the victim was one of their own.” (177) She was left to deal with the tragedy on her own.
No one was ever convicted for the bombing although FBI records would show that the men had been identified. Hoover did not think there was enough evidence for a conviction.
In May, M. L. King had been to Birmingham and organized student marches. Carolyn had skipped school to participate. Bull Connor had responded with tanks and ordered water hoses turned on the marchers, many of whom were children. Carolyn was one of those hit with water shot out at a hundred pounds of pressure a second.
Birmingham's nickname was “Bombingham.” (182) Many homes in the black neighborhood were bombed. In April of 1964 the house across the street was bombed. Carolyn woke to a shattered window and her brothers were thrown from their beds by the blast.
As a black child in the south, Carolyn had little contact with white people. She had her first interaction and conversation with a white person in college. “Blacks and whites lived together in the same city, but we truly lived in separate worlds.” (35)
After college Carolyn married and began a family. Her memories plagued her and she turned to alcohol to deaden them. When one of her children was almost killed because of her inattention, she committed to end that dependence and shares her struggles to do so.
Her husband's job brought them back to Birmingham and she found that the “integrated” south still had problems. While some wanted to move forward there were those who desired the old status quo.
She felt God calling her to speak out about her experiences, moved to restore the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, seeing it become a national historic landmark. Her passion “is to see people learn to work together and appreciate the diversity God created among us.” (269)
Carolyn still struggles with the memories of that event nearly fifty years ago. Even now she says she “must go back to God in prayer and ask him to keep unforgiveness from my heart...” (274) God has helped her through the long process of forgiveness, seeing people as God sees them. She desires to live by Rom. 13:10, “Love does no harm to its neighbor.” Carolyn reminds her readers that it is time to quit watching and start acting.
This book was provided for review by Tyndale House Publishers.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Thank you Carolyn for telling this story!!

Date:February 17, 2011
Customer Avatar
Robin Prater
Location:Missouri
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Have you ever read a book and when you turned the last page you were left speechless? This is a book for all to read. On September 15, 1963 Carolyn Maull McKinstry's life changed forever. Just as she leaves the bathroom of her church a bomb goes off killing four of her friends. This is Carolyn's account of what happened that day. Carolyn was coming of age during the riots and hatred that seemed to take over our nation. The KKK was alive and active destroying the lives of many.
In this beautifully written story, Carolyn tells of what life was like during that time and into present day. It is sad that such a horrific day must forever be imprinted in one's mind. Poignantly, Carolyn brings these years to life for women like me who were never touched by such evil. I was born in 1966 and my life was far from the anguish that Carolyn experienced. Carolyn talks about the march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and brings us through the assassinations of the Kennedy's. She shares all the evils that occurred during this time in history. These were times that evil attacked and left a mark forever.
Carolyn shares the forgiveness she has in her heart and the strength the Lord has given her to overcome. As she tells the story of the past it is like you too are present with her. She shares with such passion. God has used Carolyn in many ways. While the world watched she lived it. While the world judged she forgave. While the world turned away she was ever present with her family and friends. Carolyn's church was a huge part of her life and her faith has carried her through many dark times and has been there to encourage her as she is the voice of the past for those of us who were not present.
I admire Carolyn. She is one of those women I would be honored to have lunch with. To sit and just share. Her story comes to life through these pages and within these pages we get a glimpse of who her friends were. Their lives are not forgotten, but remembered by the love of a friend who lives to tell the story.
This book was a gift from Tyndale for it's review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An interesting look at history

Date:February 11, 2011
Customer Avatar
Hayley
Location:Central Ohio
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
While The World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry is about a Birmingham bombing survivor who came of age during the Civil Rights Movement. I am not a big history fan when you have to read about it in the history books, but I really enjoy reading eyewitness accounts of history. This book made different events that took place in Birmingham come alive for me. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Life in the South during the Civil Rights Movement

Date:February 9, 2011
Customer Avatar
Nel Fastenau
Location:Willard, MO
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"While The World Watched" is an intriguing, moving account of growing up during the Civil Rights Movement by Carolyn Maull McKinstry. Carolyn tells her story of coming of age during this time of upheaval. It is a first hand account of life as a black person, the hatred, the bombings, and the Jim Crow laws. The bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Carolyn’s safe place, which killed 4 of her friends, changed her life forever. This is the gripping account of the after affects of that bombing and life in Birmingham Alabama and how in 2002 several KKK members finally were brought to justice on four counts of murder.
I highly recommend this book. I can remember certain events that took place in the book as I too was growing up at this time. This is a wonderful account of how someone on the sidelines was affected by the injustices in this world. At times the dates seemed to jump back and forth making it a little hard to follow and the speech excerpts from Martin Luther King and President Kennedy were in the middle of the chapters but this did not take away from the book.
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wonderfully written beautiful story

Date:February 2, 2011
Customer Avatar
Mommiebethers
Location:Milwaukee, Wi
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
While the World Watched gives the unique viewpoints of not just a child but a first hand account of the bombing, a personal account of how these events effected her whole life. I enjoyed this book a lot. I had a little bit of a hard time following sometimes because there was a lot of date jumping in spots but it definitely did not take away from the story. This book was about non violence, peace, love, and ultimately forgiveness. Also in this book were speeches and quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,whom Carolyn got to hear and speak to first hand, speeches and quotes also from John and Bobby Kennedy. This book is a must read for the young and old about a time in our history that is very important to know about. I highly recommend this book.
I received this book free from Tyndale publishing for my honest review of it
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

While the World Watched

Date:February 1, 2011
Customer Avatar
GiniB
Location:Dallas, PA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Poignant. Essential reading, for the young and the not so young. This is her story, but it is much more than that. I too came of age during that time, but had no idea anything like was happening in my country; a country I had been taught believed all men are created equal. This only happened in some far off dictator led place. Here, no. I remember seeing the news reports of the events that she mentions but I did not understand their importance at the time. In my part of the country only the Vietnam War mattered. We were preventing the spread of communism. How ironic. Stop one form of oppression while ignoring our own. We are more aware now, right? Not too sure if that’s true.
McKinstry reveals her heart as well as her history in this book. She does so gently and honestly. There’s no venting of anger or wallowing in pity. She speaks of her difficulty in coping with some of the events most frankly. As she said several times in the book, her community just did not talk about such things and she was left to process her emotions alone. The story of her grandmother’s final days was so touching. All I can say is “Thank you, Mrs. McKinstry, for this gift.” Included in this book are the texts of several speeches or letters from the period, a timeline of her life, and pictures of the author and others mostly from her youth.
Please read this book to see the human side, good and bad, of this nearly forgotten time in our history. There is too much at risk, even now, to lose this piece of our history. This is a story of hope and perseverance. I recommend it highly.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.