The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

The Watsons go to Birmingham

what are two problems kenny faces at school?

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Kenny goes to school at Clark elementary, where Larry Dunn is the big bully who lords over everyone from kindergarten to fourth grade. The real god of the school, though, is Byron; he is in the sixth grade still, because he flunked a grade at least once. Having Byron as a big brother does not exempt Kenny from bullying, but it does spare him from some of the worst evils that Larry Dunn could pull.

Kenny says he gets teased because there are two things wrong with him: the first issue is that he is extremely smart, so all the teachers love him and treat him differently. (When he was in second grade, a teacher once had him read passages of Langston Hughes's work to Byron's fifth grade class.) The second issue is Kenny's lazy eye. However, Byron taught him a way to avoid having people look at his eye: Kenny just has to look at people sideways when they talk to him.