Caroline Davis

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

In Books on March 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Summary: Bud Caldwell (who always introduces himself as “Bud, not Buddy” because his mother insisted that no one ever call him by that nickname) is living in Flint, Michigan in 1936. He’s about to turn eleven, and his mother died when he was six, so for the last four years he’s been living in the Home and occasionally stays with foster families that mistreat him. Bud realizes that his mother left him all these clues to find his father – lots of flyers about a musician named Herman E. Calloway! Bud is determined to cross the state to Grand Rapids to find him, but when he meets Mr. Calloway, he seems too old and cranky to be his father. Can this really be where Bud belongs?

Highlights: This book is great because of Bud’s narration. He really gives us a ten-year-old’s perspective of the Great Depression as he would have seen it (for instance, he and a friend mistakenly ask if they’ve arrived in “Hooperville” when they get to a Hooverville shantytown outside of Flint). He doesn’t know anything about hopping trains, and he has some vague sense that there are more opportunities for him out west. Fortunately for Bud, he runs into a lot of great adults who help him get on the right track and find where he belongs. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it for tweens!  Winner of the Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, an ALA Notable Children’s Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.


Christopher Paul Curtis’s Official Website

Interview with Christopher Paul Curtis (Powell’s)

Christopher Paul Curtis meets with Al’s Book Club for Kids (MSNBC)

Other Reviews:

@ twenty by jenny

@ loehwjac

@ Lindsay Foster’s Book Reviews

@ Word Lily

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