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Bud, Not Buddy (1999)

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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7,420444848 (4.12)132
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

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Juvenile fiction
  OurWellsLibrary | Aug 4, 2020 |
This is a touching yet funny book which I read out loud with a student for summer enrichment. It is written in 1999 by Christopher Paul Curtis, and won the Newberry Medal of Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award in 2000.
The story is historical fiction, but many of the characters did exist (two are actually the grandfathers of the author!).
The story takes place in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression. Bud is an orphan who runs away from the "home", seeking his father, whom he believes is Herman E. Calloway, leader of a musical group.
I enjoyed the book because it was written in the pov of the ten year- old protagonist, Bud. It was funny because he was able to see humor in the worst of circumstances. This made it optimistic and uplifting for students. It also dealt with themes and conflicts that were serious, but in a respectful and accessible way(the importance of family, identity, racism, Man vs. Man, Man vs. Society, Man vs. Nature).
I highly recommend it for grades 4-8. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
This book was heart warming. About a young boy, named Bud, not Buddy. he believes his father is a famous musician. It is a great surprise to Bud when he finally meets the man that denies being his father. A boy with a tough life, but never looses his sense of humor. ( )
  kmaldonado | May 8, 2020 |
Bud, not Buddy is another book that tugs on the heartstrings from beginning to end. It's about a little boy who lives in an orphanage. He ends up with a foster family that treats him very poorly. He gets in a huge fight with the family's son Todd and has to sleep in the shed. He thinks that a hornet's nest in a bat, so he hits it. He gets stung everywhere. He is so tired of being treated poorly, so he pours hot water all over Todd and leaves with his only belongings- a suitcase of things about his parents. He meets up with an old friend from an orphanage and meets some nice people along his journey. He ends up finding the band on the flyer he keeps that he thinks his father is in. He finds out that it is actually his grandfather after a rocky relationship with him. He finally found a "home" with this band of people. He found a love for the saxophone and he gets to play with the band.
I spent most of this book in tears. Bud is such a positive and sweet kid that only wants love. Something that really resonated with me was the way that Calloway responded to Bud at first. Of course, I was so mad at him for not even trying to listen to a little boy telling him that he was his son. Once we find out that Bud is his grandson, and his mom's dad, it becomes clear why he was so cold to Bud. He was still hurt from losing his daughter. How could he think about having another child? Especially when he knows he does not have one. I think it's so nice that they end up getting along. It's a beautiful thing as well that Bud falls in love with playing an instrument. Not only does it tie him to his grandfather, and in turn his mom, it gives him something that is his own. After such a hard journey, it's so wonderful to see that Bud finds a home with this band. ( )
  Kmlaiche | May 6, 2020 |
I really enjoyed this book. Bud is little boy who experienced a lot of hardships but yet does not allow it to stop him. He was moved to an orphanage after his mom died and he family that fostered him abuses him, so he escapes and begins his journey to find his dad. This book has a somber mood during its entirety, but Buds character brings spunk and determination to it. I really liked this book’s overall themes of perseverance during hardships and also the importance of family. Buds character does a great job making your root for him during the book. I also like this book’s point of you. There are not many books written that describes a child’s point of view during the great depression. The hardships Bud goes through while trying to find his father pull out raw emotion. Bud is such a strong young man whose character can give other children that read this book a sense of hope and belonging. ( )
  ksteir1 | May 5, 2020 |
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I dedicate this book to the following people:

Leslie and Herman Curtis Jr.
Sarah and Earl Lewis
Hazel and Herman E. Curtis Sr.
Joan and George Taylor, Nina and Sterling Sleet
Gloria and Frederick "Bud" Curtis
Virginia and F. D. Johnson, Paul Lewis
Donna and Eugene Miller
Johnnie and Don Ricks, Rosemary and Willie Swan
Carol and Lawrence Anderson
Laverne and James Cross Sr.
Carolyn and Dan Evans
Willie and Frances and Robert James
Dorothy and Theodore Johnson
Tommie and robert Epps Sr
Mr. and Mrs. Small of Liberty Street, James Wesley Sr.
Harrison Edward Patrick
James Cross Jr.
LaRon Williams, Douglas Tennant
Margaret Davidson, Roland Alums, John Nash
Suzanne Henry Jakeway
And Alvin Stockard-
all of whom led and lead by example, all of whom have been models of compassion, strength and love, all of whom I'll remember forever.
First words
Here we go again.
"A bud is a flower-to-be. A flower-in-waiting. Waiting for just the right warmth and care to open up. It's a little fist of love waiting to unfold and be seen by the world. And that's you." Chapter 5, pg. 42
She handed me the pencil and paper and the cities book, then said, "And when you're done with the book bring it back and I have something special for you!" She had a huge smile on her face.
 I said "Thank you, ma'am," but I didn't get too excited 'cause I know the kind of things librarians think are special.
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