Study Guide

Autobiography of My Dead Brother Chapter 4

By Walter Dean Myers

Chapter 4

  • Benny wants to start a Cuban band. None of the band members will be Cuban, but whatever—they still have a gig playing an eleven-year-old's birthday party.
  • Calvin's in, and so is Jesse. C.J. says yes, even though he and Jesse both know that C.J.'s mom might present an obstacle to this little project.
  • Benny and Calvin leave. Jesse and C.J. are just hanging out, watching an eight-year-old with uncombed hair physically and verbally abuse her doll. It's super disturbing; C.J. says her mother is a crack user.
  • C.J. wants to go grab a soda. As they walk to the store, he tells Jesse that his mom wants to move but is conflicted because she wants C.J. to be able to play piano at church.
  • Jesse asks if C.J. can play Cuban music, to which C.J. says it's all music, man.
  • The boys get their sodas, and C.J. gets some chips.
  • Jesse tells C.J. about his weird Rise drawing and how Rise wants Jesse to draw his biography. C.J. thinks this is all kind of dumb.
  • Back on the stoop, C.J.'s talking about their new Cuban band, while Jesse's still fixated on the abused doll, which has been abandoned by the little girl. Jesse wishes he had his sketchbook so he could draw it.
  • Apparently he used to carry a sketchbook around until some guys tore it up into pieces. Jerks.
  • C.J. wants Jesse's mom to call his mom to convince her this Cuban band thing is okay. Jesse agrees.

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