What is the falling action in The Watsons go to Birmingham?

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In literary terms, falling action refers to that part of the plot that takes place after the climax and before the denouement. In The Watsons go to Birmingham, the climax in the story is when the 16th Street Baptist Church is bombed by white supremacists. In the aftermath of the bombing, the Watsons frantically search for Joey, who was attending Sunday School at the church. Kenny finds a shoe that looks just like one that Joey was wearing. He fears the worst and rushes home in a state of hysteria.

Thankfully, Joey survives the horrific blast; she wasn't in the church when the bomb went off. It is at this point in the story that the falling action takes place. Everyone's totally shaken and traumatized by the bombing and the sheer hatred that it represents. The Watsons realize that the racist South is no place for them or any other African-Americans, for that matter. So they decide to pack up and head back home to Flint.

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