Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy

3.93 (93,534 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father--from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go To Birmingham--1963, a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree. 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 full of special 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 advertising 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 to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself. BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR:
The New York Times
School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly "[A] powerfully felt novel." --The New York Times "Will keep readers engrossed from first page to last." --Publishers Weekly, Starred "Curtis writes with a razor-sharp intelligence that grabs the reader by the heart and never lets go. . . . This highly recommended title [is] at the top of the list of books to be read again and again." --Voice of Youth Advocates, Starred
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Product details

  • 9-12
  • Paperback | 245 pages
  • 133 x 197 x 20.32mm | 181g
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0440413281
  • 9780440413288
  • 122,280

Flap copy

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan, and when 10-year-old Bud decides to hit the road to find his father, nothing can stop him.
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Review Text

AN ALA BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS
AN ALA NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK
AN IRA CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD WINNER
NAMED TO 14 STATE AWARD LISTS
 
The book is a gem, of value to all ages, not just the young people to whom it is aimed. The Christian Science Monitor
 
Will keep readers engrossed from first page to last. Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
Curtis writes with a razor-sharp intelligence that grabs the reader by the heart and never lets go. . . . This highly recommended title [is] at the top of the list of books to be read again and again. Voice of Youth Advocates, starred review
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Review quote

AN ALA BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS
AN ALA NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK
AN IRA CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD WINNER
NAMED TO 14 STATE AWARD LISTS "The book is a gem, of value to all ages, not just the young people to whom it is aimed." --The Christian Science Monitor "Will keep readers engrossed from first page to last." --Publishers Weekly, starred review "Curtis writes with a razor-sharp intelligence that grabs the reader by the heart and never lets go. . . . This highly recommended title [is] at the top of the list of books to be read again and again." --Voice of Youth Advocates, starred review
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About Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963.
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Rating details

93,534 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 35% (32,944)
4 34% (31,533)
3 22% (20,860)
2 6% (5,972)
1 2% (2,225)

Our customer reviews

It is 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, and ten-year-old Bud Caldwell lives in Flint, MI. His mother, who always said that his name is Bud, not Buddy, never told him anything about his father, but she kept a bunch of fliers about a musician and band-leader named Herman E. Calloway of Grand Rapids, MI, and Bud fantasizes that Calloway must be his father. Unfortunately, Bud's mother died four years earlier, and Bud has been in and out of the orphanage and various foster homes, the latest being the Amoses. Then when Todd Amos beats him up and Mrs. Amos decides to send him back to the orphanage for defending himself, Bud decides to run away to Grand Rapids to find his father. Will he make it? And what will he find if he gets there? Author Christopher Paul Curtis, who had received a Newbery honor in 1996 for The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 and later gained another in 2007 for Elijah of Buxton, said that while Bud, Not Buddy, which won the Newbery Medal in 2000, is fictional, many of the situations which Bud encounters are based on events which occurred during the 1930s and a couple of the characters are drawn from real people. Thus, the reader will learn about life for African-Americans in the Great Depression, including Hoovervilles, hobos, racism, the KKK, and jazz music. The book certainly has a charm about it and finds its way to a happy ending. However, there are some questionable aspects to the story which need at least to be noted. Though it is never mentioned out in the open, there is a constant underlying suggestion that Bud is an illegitimate child. And some people may not care for the pencil-up-the-nose and the shotgun-fantasy scenes. Also there are a few language issues. In addition to some common euphemisms and childish slang (dang, darn, gee, and pee), Bud says "doggoned" a lot-and I mean A LOT!-as well as "kiss my wrist" several times. And others use such "polite" profane interjections as sweet baby Jesus, Lord knows, for God's sake, my Lord, by God, and Lord have mercy. But most troubling is the fact that deception is accepted as a means of survival with little consequence. In other words, Bud lies-again, A LOT! In fact, throughout the book are found several of "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself." Some of these are funny and harmless, but rule number 3 is "If you got to tell a lie, make sure it's simple and easy to remember." One might argue that Bud doesn't have parents to reinforce right from wrong, but many parents will cringe at a book which appears to endorse lying. As one friend noted, "I'm sure leaving that controversial content in helped it win the coveted Newbery Award." So caution is recommended, and those who parent from a Biblical worldview will want to pre-read the book and discuss the objectionable elements with their children. For these reasons, I would not suggest it for anyone younger than ages twelve and up.show more
by Wayne S. Walker
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