illustrated close-up of Kenny Watson with fire in the background behind him

The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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What is the resolution of The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963?

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The resolution of this great novel comes after the climax, which comes in Chapter 15 when Kenny, with Byron's help, is finally able to express his emotions about what he has seen and observed whilst he was in Alabama, both with his fight with the Wool Pooh and with the bombing of the church. He is able to confess his supposed guilt at having lost the fight with the Wool Pooh for Joetta and his complete inability to understand why people would do something so terrible as bomb a church and kill the little girls that died.

The resolution comes as Kenny is finally able to smile at himself in the mirror:

I climbed up on the toilet and leaned over the sink to take a look. I smiled. Byron was very right about some things too. He was very right when he said I was too smart to believe magic powers lived behind a couch. He also knew what he was talking about when he said I was going to be alright.

He leaves the bathroom, wondering about how he is going to get his dinosaurs back from Rufus, whom he had given them to.

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