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The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963
by Christopher Paul Curtis
Byron Watson Timeline and Summary
Byron's first appearance is as the Lipless Wonder. He gets his lips frozen to the mirror of the car while (we assume) making out with his own reflection. Nice first impression, Byron. Our next view of the guy? He beats up Larry Dunn for stealing Kenny's gloves. Next up, Byron almost gets burned (literally, with matches) by Momma for setting fire to toilet paper parachutes in the bathroom. But wait, there's more: he accidentally kills a mourning dove with a cookie. Strangely, he gets real upset about this and gives the bird a funeral. The last straw is when Byron gets his hair chemically straightened; Dad is so mad that he shaves Byron's head. Momma and Dad announce that they're sending Byron to Birmingham to stay with Grandma Sands for the summer—or until he straightens up. When they get to Alabama, Byron suddenly starts acting a whole lot nicer. Hmm, what's up with that? Byron saves Kenny's life when Kenny almost drowns in the whirl pool at Collier's Landing. Yeah, things are a changin'. Byron has a heart-to-heart with Kenny, bringing his brother out of his deep funk. Thanks, By.