I selected this book for 2 reasons, February is African American Heritage Month, and also I thought this would be an interesting book to compare with "The Ear, the Eye, and The Arm". The two families are of similar makeup, but the characters are very different.
This is the story of a hilarious 10-year-old named Kenny whose family is quirky, proud and loving. Kenny is the middle child, and everyone knows he is whip-smart. His older brother Byron, is a street smart teenager. His pranks always land him in trouble, so much so that his parents decide to send him to stay with his Grandma in Alabama to help him straighten up! The story takes place in 1963, a year when the push for Civil Rights would reach boiling point. As the Watson's leave Flint, Michigan to drive to Birmingham Alabama, the family brushes up against on of the most shocking events of this era - the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
This is also the NPR "Backseat Book Club" choice right now! Hear an interview with the author at npr.org & join "Backseat Book Club" and read & respond with kids from around the country if you like.
The three children of the wealthy and powerful General Matsika steal out of the house on a forbidden adventure - and promptly disappear. Their parents call in the best detectives in Africa, or at least the most unusual: the Ear, the Eye and the Arm, who have powers far beyond those of other human beings! Weaving African tribal heritage and lore into a rich tapestry featuring featuring a witty projection of the future, a score of vividly realized characters, and a non-stop adventure...that is taut, comic, and touching. A splendidly imaginative fantasy!