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

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Why does Joetta think Kenny has changed his clothes?   Chapter 14 The Watsons go to Birmingham

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The simple answer is that Joetta saw someone else and thought it was Kenny. Her confusion parallels that of Kenny himself. In the aftermath of the terrible bomb that devastated the church, Kenny was sure that Joetta had been killed in the blast. He found a shoe that looked just like hers attached to a lifeless foot beneath the rubble and naturally assumed it was Joetta. So when Joetta appears later on at Grandma Sands's house, Kenny thinks she's some kind of spooky apparition, taken round by the mythical Wool Pooh for one last visit. For her part, Joetta, who's very much alive and well, doesn't understand how Kenny managed to get back home so quickly and why he's wearing different clothes.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It appears that Joetta (or Joey) thinks that Kenny is trying to scare her.  She thinks that he is trying to hide something from her.  Specifically, it looks like she believes that he is trying to hide something about their mom and dad from her.

She thinks that Kenny is trying to mess with her mind.  She believes that she saw him across the street just a moment ago but that he was wearing different clothes.  So she is sure that he has somehow managed to sneak in and change clothes just to spook her.

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