Monday, October 12, 2015

Bud, Not Buddy
By Christopher Paul Curtis

“Bud, Not Buddy,” by Christopher Paul Curtis, is a great middle grade read, with or without the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Awards it has received. It is part quest, part Depression era - civil rights history insight, part mystery, part jazz introduction, and all human emotion exploration.

Bud is a ten year old in an orphanage during the Depression when the story opens. He lost his mother four years ago. Since then he’s come up with a list of rules and the ability to lie at the drop of a hat. When a foster home turns dangerous, Bud decides to follow the clues his mother left behind and seek out his father, a jazz musician. On his journey, Bud experiences both the worst and the best in humanity. We get to see what life was like for jobless men and their families during the Depression, and also how African Americans were treated then.

I figured out how Bud’s quest would end, probably about the same time as everyone else. This is a heartwarming and soulful at the same time. It shows how determination and resourcefulness can fuel personal achievements. It also reinforces how important our family and human relationships are. Highly recommended for ages 8-12.

Reviewed by:
Penelope Anne Cole
Award Winning Author of Magical Matthew and Magical Mea 
New: Magical Mea Goes to School, and 
Magical Max and Magical Mickey
For Halloween: Ten Little Tricksters

Bud Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis, middle grade, Herman Calloway, Jazz musicians, the band, Depression, civil rights, mother, father, home, orphanage, orphans, Flint Michigan, Grand Rapids Michigan, running away from home.

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