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

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kenny is a dynamic character because he changes from a scared kid who believes in magical powers to someone who understands his inner strength. At the beginning of the book, he is constantly scared and harassed by the bullies at his school, and he relies on his older brother, Byron, for protection. Later, he almost drowns while swimming in Alabama, and he believes, as Byron tells him, that a mythical creature named a "Wool Pooh" (a misunderstanding of his grandmother's pronunciation of "whirlpool") is to blame. He says, "I found out that the Wool Pooh was real and big and mean and horrible and that he didn’t care at all about dragging kids out into the water!" 

After almost drowning, he is already scared of this mythical creature. Then, after witnessing the "Wool Pooh" in the church that has been bombed in Birmingham, an incident that killed African-American girls but that fortunately did not hurt his little sister, Joey, he is so frightened that he hides each day behind his couch. He curls himself into a ball in what Byron calls the "World-Famous Watson Pet Hospital," as the family's pets go there for recuperation. Kenny feels guilty and scared about the incident in Birmingham, until Byron finally convinces him that there are no magical creatures and that Kenny was brave for going into the church to try to find Joey. In the end, thanks to Byron, Kenny has more confidence in himself and greater awareness of his own bravery and power.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kenny is a dynamic character because he changes from a boy that admires his brother to a young man who finds his own way.

A static character is one who does not change or grow over the course of the book.  A dynamic character develops, changes, learns and grows.  An example of Kenny being a dynamic character is his reaction to his brother Byron.  At first, Kenny worships Byron.  His older brother is interesting because he is defiant and has Grand Adventures.  After a while, Kenny realizes that Byron is not the kind of person he wants to be.  He decides to make his own choices and be his own person.

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

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