From the book jacket:
15 year old Luther T. Farrell lives in Flint Michigan, and is
determined to get out. His mother, known as 'the Sarge', has
milked the system to build an empire of slum housing and group homes,
and Luther is just one of the many people trapped in her Evil
Empire. If he can just win the science fair this year, he'll be on
track for college and a future as America's best-known and best-loved
philosopher. All he's got to do is beat his arch rival Shayla Patrick,
the beautiful daughter of Flint's finest undertakerand the love of
Luther's life; but he's also got to contend with 'the Sarge' and her right
hand thug, Darnell Dixon.
My children (then 9 and 11) and I listened to Bucking The Sarge
in the car. I must admit...
Beyond the Book
Christopher Paul Curtis was born and brought up in
Flint, and worked on the assembly line in the city for 13 years until his first book, The Watsons Go
, was published when he was 40 years old. He took a
year off from work to write to write it sitting in the children's room of the
Windsor Public Library writing in long hand. His son Steven typed his father's
drafts into their computer and served as first reader.
His second novel, Bud, Not Buddy
, was the first book ever to receive both
the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award.
He describes himself as a great reader but as a youth could not find books "that
were about me". When asked why he writes he says, "I write because I love