Told from the point-of-view of 10-year-old Kenny, it's really his big brother Byron who's the hero of this funny, emotional sucker-punch of a novel. Byron, thirteen, is a juvenile delinquent--a black sheep--according to Kenny, and pretty much everyone else in the so-called "Weird Watsons" family. But in the end it's Kenny who helps Byron overcome his depression over witnessing tragic events during a trip to visit their grandmother in Birmingham, Alabama during the height of the struggle for Civil Rights.
I came *this* close to giving up on the book after reading chapter five, which is way too violent for my taste. I'm so glad I didn't give up, though. This is a really good book that deserves our full attention, even though it's difficult sometimes. If you’re a wuss like me, maybe just skip chapter five? This is a great book for families to read together to help spark conversation about how to cope with traumatic events. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults.