On what page does Byron get Kenny cereal and milk in The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Byron gets Kenny cereal and milk on page 197 in my book, which is the 1995 Yearling Random House Edition.  Page numbers vary from edition to edition of books, however, so it might be more helpful if I tell you that the incident occurs about six pages, or a third of the way, into Chapter 15, the last chapter in the book.  That chapter recounts the aftermath of the Watsons' fateful trip to Birmingham.  Kenny, who had witnessed the immediate results of the firebombing of the church where his little sister was attending, remains traumatized by the experience, and spends a lot of time just hiding behind the sofa in the living room.  He likens his condition to a wounded animal; when family pets are sick or injured, they tend to hole up in the dark quiet area behind the sofa to "wait to see if they (are) going to get better".  Although Kenny does not say so directly, his spirit is deeply wounded, and so he instinctively seeks the shelter of the womb-like retreat to see if he might find healing there.

The family wonders where Kenny is spending so much of his time, and it is Byron who finally discovers his little brother's hiding place.  Byron understands Kenny's predicament, and treats him with gentleness and compassion, instigating communication but for the most part allowing Kenny to remain in the security of his retreat for as long as he needs to.  Byron encourages Kenny to come out sometimes and watch cartoons with him, and pours out his cereal and milk when he can get him to eat.  It is eventually to Byron that Kenny confides what he saw at the church that day, and his own feelings of guilt and complicity in what so nearly happened to his sister (Chapter 15).

Read the study guide:
The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

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