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Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, Not Buddy (1999)

by Christopher Paul Curtis

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This is a wonderful book! The story starts with a little boy living in an orphanage in the 1930's after his mother died. He then has a bad experience at a foster home and decides to go "on the lam." He has many experiences as he searches for his father using a few clues his mother has left him. This little 11-yr-old boy is very street smart, but also naive in many ways. He narrates the story and says some really cute things. It ends differently than you expect, but, of course, it is a good ending. This book was recommended to me by an elementary teacher and now I know why. It is probably for about 4th grade level readers, and I think they could learn a lot about the depression era. The author does a very good job of telling the story. He explains at the end of the book that it is fiction, but two of the main male characters were based on his grandfathers. And he encourages youngsters to talk to their grandparents, parents, and relatives about their life stories. I highly recommend this book, and better yet, read it with a child! ( )
  TerriS | Jan 17, 2016 |
I loved Bud's voice and following his journey. Charming, funny, and sad.

The author also gives excellent advice about family history in the afterword, "Be smarter than I was: Go talk to your Grandma and Grandpa..." I wish I'd asked more questions and listened better. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
The story of 10 year old Bud an orphan living in Flint, Michigan in 1936. After Bud runs away from a foster home, after they stick him in a shed and he gets stung by hornets, Bud decides to travel to Grand Rapids find his father. I love the character of Bud and his story. very well written. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Audio book performed by James Avery.
5***** and a ❤

In Depression-era Flint, Michigan, 10-year-old Bud Caldwell (BUD, not Buddy) is plucked from the “home” to go to a foster family. This will be the third foster home he’s been in, and he’s not impressed. But he takes his worn, cardboard suitcase with his few but treasured possessions and tries to make the best of it. Before he knows it, he’s on the lam, determined to find his own way and sure that the things his Momma left him are clues to his father’s identity and whereabouts.

I love Bud. He’s imaginative, intelligent, resourceful, well-mannered, curious, and ever-hopeful. Once he’s decided to find the man he is sure is his father, nothing will stop him. He endures hunger and fear, but also comes across kind-hearted men and women who help him (though he isn’t always forthcoming about his goal, and outright lies about his situation more than once). He’s also quite the philosopher – having compiled a list of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Thing for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. Among my favorites: Rule # 83 - If a Adult Tells You Not to Worry, and You Weren’t Worried Before, You Better Hurry Up and Start, ‘Cause You’re Already Running Late.

Curtis doesn’t gloss over the difficulties faced by many during the Great Depression, giving the reader a history lesson on the conditions in Hoovervilles across America. But he also shows that with determination, hard work, and compassion people survived the hardships and formed lasting bonds. As an adult, I really appreciated the afterword wherein Curtis explains some of his own family history and suggests, no orders, the reader to “Go talk to Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, and other relatives and friends.”

James Avery is marvelous performing the audio book. Heck, I was scared when Bud was in the shed with the “vampires” and fish-guards! And at the end, my eyes started that same “stingy-eyed blinking” right along Miss Thomas.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Bud, not Buddy exposes children to non-fiction storyline with real life plots they can relate to. Children will emphasize with Bud as the book is told form his perspective. Children will learn about coping with emotional issues. The book explores some of our most difficult times in history, a time of slavery, sexism and poverty. Children will observe how much things have changed and will be familiarized with some of our most controversial topics in history. Bud will hold a special place in our hearts as we relate to his pain, struggles and optimism.
  jenmarin09 | Dec 6, 2015 |
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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.
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"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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553494104, Mass Market Paperback)

"It's funny how ideas are, in a lot of ways they're just like seeds. Both of them start real, real small and then... woop, zoop, sloop... before you can say Jack Robinson, they've gone and grown a lot bigger than you ever thought they could." So figures scrappy 10-year-old philosopher Bud--"not Buddy"--Caldwell, an orphan on the run from abusive foster homes and Hoovervilles in 1930s Michigan. And the idea that's planted itself in his head is that Herman E. Calloway, standup-bass player for the Dusky Devastators of the Depression, is his father.

Guided only by a flier for one of Calloway's shows--a small, blue poster that had mysteriously upset his mother shortly before she died--Bud sets off to track down his supposed dad, a man he's never laid eyes on. And, being 10, Bud-not-Buddy gets into all sorts of trouble along the way, barely escaping a monster-infested woodshed, stealing a vampire's car, and even getting tricked into "busting slob with a real live girl." Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, once again exhibits his skill for capturing the language and feel of an era and creates an authentic, touching, often hilarious voice in little Bud. (Ages 8 to 12) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:53 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

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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