Discussion Guide

Choose 2-3 questions to discuss with your partner.

  1. Life in 1963 was quite different for African Americans than it is today, especially in the South. Explain your thoughts on how blacks and whites were treated.
Adi:The blacks were treated differently according to who they were. Like kennys brother was like the god of the school and Kenny was treated like he was a nobody.

Steve: I think the black were treated OK. Byron and Kenny were treated nice at school, but at Birmingham some white people they bombed a church with black

people in it.
  1. How does Kenny’s life change in the book?
Adi: kenny grows to be more mature and curious which leads to many problems inthe book.

Steve:Kenny gets older and gets a little more crazy. Kenny actially goes to a place that has a warning sign. Byron treats Kenny more nicely.
  1. Describe Byron’s transformation in Birmingham.
Adi:Byron treats Kenny more brotherly which the greatest benefit in this book since if Byron didn't change Kenney would not be alive.
Steve: At Birmingham, Byron treats Kenny better. He became nice. He transformed from a mean, mischievous brother to a nice, loving brother.
  1. Why do you think Christopher Paul Curtis chose to include the
    bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, something
    that really happened, in a book that is mostly fictional?
Adi: I think he mentioned this because he wanted to resemble what Kenny saw and felt.
Steve: I think he included it because he wanted to tell how blacks suffered.