How does Byron's personality change over the course of this story?

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The Watson's Go to Birmingham is a novel written by Christopher Paul Curtis and is somewhat based on true events.

Byron Watson is a main character in this novel and is quickly introduced as a delinquent child. Byron often gets in trouble and is egged on by his brother, Kenny. Byron gets in fights and picks on his brother. The rest of the Watson family is fairly straight-laced so it is interested that Byron has such a bad side.

When the family goes on a trip to Birmingham to visit their grandmother and to check out the possibility that Byron could move there for the summer to keep him out of trouble, readers start to notice a change in Byron.

Byron becomes more complicated. He feeds a bird, then in an outrage, kills the same bird. He feels horrible about his actions and then hosts a funeral for this bird. Readers will start to understand that Byron is very complex and there is more to his bad side than what meets the eye.

By the end of the novel, Byron realizes that the people in his life who support him are important to him and he cares about them. He does not want to lose those who are close to him. Readers learn this through his actions. Byron saves Kenny from drowning and also protects Kenny and encourages him to talk about the bombing that takes place.

This story is a true coming of age story for Byron.

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Byron changes over the course of the story by becoming less antagonistic towards his family. In the beginning, he  goes out of his way to torture Kenny. He is always taunting him, or using physical force against him. He finds the gang life and causing trouble to be appealing. Their time in Birmingham brings racial issues and tragedy that cause Byron to be a good brother to Kenny. After the church bombing, Kenny is devastated. It is Byron who is able to make him feel better by telling him that Joey is alive because she went after Kenny and that it was incredibly brave of Kenny to go into the church. He also tries to explain to him how something like this happens. By would not have been this caring at the beginning of the story.

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