The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 Questions and Answers
by Christopher Paul Curtis

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How is Kenny a dynamic character in The Watsons Go to Birmingham?

Kenny is a dynamic character in The Watsons Go to Birmingham because of the way his relationship with Byron transforms and in his new appreciation for his family. A dynamic character is one whose outlook or arc changes throughout the story in response to things that go on around them or their interactions with other characters.

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A dynamic character is one who changes, typically because of some conflict he or she encounters.

Kenny transforms in his views of Byron. For much of the book, Kenny sees his brother as a tough, wisecracking older brother who is there when he's in a bind, but their relationship is fairly superficial. He doesn't really trust him, particularly if Byron happens to be treating him with rare kindness. In chapter 6, he mentions that "Byron was being too nice, so I knew something bad was about to happen." And later he comments, "I wasn't used to being this friendly with Byron so I guess I was kind of nervous."

However, when Kenny needs an emotional rescue after the church bombing, it is Byron who alleviates his fears. Byron both comforts him by keeping him company and being honest with him about what he saw at the church, and he tells Kenny that there is no magic in the couch that will heal him. Kenny will have to figure out how to live in a world with people who commit horrendous acts. This is...

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