Summary and book reviews of Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, Not Buddy

by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, Not Buddy
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  • First Published:
    Aug 1999, 245 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2002, 245 pages

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Book Summary

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him.

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him:

  1. He has his own suitcase filled with his own important, secret things.
     
  2. He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.
     
  3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!

Bud's got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

Bud, Not Buddy is full of laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful characters, hitting the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression. Once again Christopher Paul Curtis, author of the award-winning novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, takes readers on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey.

HERE WE GO AGAIN.

We were all standing in line waiting for breakfast when one of the caseworkers came in and tap-tap-tapped down the line. Uh-oh, this meant bad news, either they'd found a foster home for somebody or somebody was about to be paddled. All the kids watched the woman as she moved along the line, her high-heeled shoes sounding like little firecrackers going off on the wooden floor.

Shoot! She stopped at me and said, "Are you Buddy Caldwell?"

I said, "It's Bud, not Buddy, ma'am."

She put her hand on my shoulder and took me out of line. Then she pulled Jerry, one of the littler boys, over. "Aren't you Jerry Clark?" He nodded.

"Boys, good news! Now that the school year has ended, you both have been accepted in new temporary-care homes starting this afternoon!"


Jerry asked me the same thing I was thinking. "Together?"

She said, "why, no. Jerry, you'll be in a family with three little girls--"

Jerry looked like he'd just found ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Booklist

Told in the boy's naive, desperate voice, with lots of examples of his survival tactics... this will make a great read-aloud. Curtis says in an afterword that some of the characters are based on real people, including his own grandfathers, so it's not surprising that the rich blend of tall tale, slapstick, sorrow, and sweetness has the wry, teasing warmth of family folklore.

School Library Journal

The lively humor contrasts with the grim details of the Depression-era setting and the particular difficulties faced by African Americans at that time. Bud is a plucky, engaging protagonist. ...[R]eaders will be so caught up in the adventure that they won't mind. Curtis has given a fresh, new look to a traditional orphan-finds-a-home story that would be a crackerjack read-aloud. Grades 4-7.

Reader Reviews

Joy Aigbivbalu

Bud, Not Buddy
I like this book it feels like I am Bud and When I was younger than what I am now my Mommy died when I was three and I never knew my Daddy a lot I never seen him in my entire life.

catelynn

bud not buddy
Out of all the books I have read this book is one of the best books. I highly recommend it to others.

Randi

Bud, Not Buddy
Great Book!

Hannah

Bud not Buddy
Wonderful, spectacular, hopeful, and magnificent! A story of hope and adventure. Humorous and lively.

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