Bud, Not Buddy Hardcover – Sep 7 1999
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"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
From Publishers Weekly
As in his Newbery Honor-winning debut, The Watsons Go to BirminghamA1963, Curtis draws on a remarkable and disarming mix of comedy and pathos, this time to describe the travails and adventures of a 10-year-old African-American orphan in Depression-era Michigan. Bud is fed up with the cruel treatment he has received at various foster homes, and after being locked up for the night in a shed with a swarm of angry hornets, he decides to run away. His goal: to reach the man heAon the flimsiest of evidenceAbelieves to be his father, jazz musician Herman E. Calloway. Relying on his own ingenuity and good luck, Bud makes it to Grand Rapids, where his "father" owns a club. Calloway, who is much older and grouchier than Bud imagined, is none too thrilled to meet a boy claiming to be his long-lost son. It is the other members of his bandASteady Eddie, Mr. Jimmy, Doug the Thug, Doo-Doo Bug Cross, Dirty Deed Breed and motherly Miss ThomasAwho make Bud feel like he has finally arrived home. While the grim conditions of the times and the harshness of Bud's circumstances are authentically depicted, Curtis shines on them an aura of hope and optimism. And even when he sets up a daunting scenario, he makes readers laughAfor example, mopping floors for the rejecting Calloway, Bud pretends the mop is "that underwater boat in the book Momma read to me, Twenty Thousand Leaks Under the Sea." Bud's journey, punctuated by Dickensian twists in plot and enlivened by a host of memorable personalities, will keep readers engrossed from first page to last. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bud is an intelligent, clever child. In the four years he has been an orphan he has learned a great deal of useful information about how to survive. Bud has a number of bits of wisdom he calls "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself." These rules are insightful, often laugh-out-loud funny, and will remind many readers of what life is like as a child. Like all people, Bud has found himself in situations where he felt the need to hide the truth, giving rise to Rule Number Three: "If you got to tell a lie, make sure it's simple and easy to remember."
Bud, Not Buddy is sprinkled with details about the Great Depression. Bud waits in food lines, spends the night in a Hooverville, learns about the formation of Unions, and hears talk all around about how hard times are. These details are presented without a great deal of explanation, which could be confusing to the young reader. However, any possible befuddlement about the setting is redeemed many times over by the sheer fun of spending time with Bud.
The author had to learn a lot about his grand parents before he wrote the book. He thought that Herman E. Calloway and Lefty Lewis reminded him of his grand parents.
Bud had went somewhere were people were having the same problems. Hooverville looked out for Bud and his friend Bugs. They have food and they shared with them. They also had shelter and they let them stay there before they tried to leave.
Bud, Not Buddy tells the story of a "wiry, not skinny' 10 year old black orphan, Bud (not Buddy) Caldwell in Michigan in the 1930s, the midst of the Great Depression. When his orphanage 'the Home' put him in an abusive foster home, after one night Bud goes 'on the lam' with his friend Bugs, from Flint to the city of Grand Rapids to find the man he believes is his father, due to his deceased mother's actions while she was alive. When Bugs makes it on the train to Chicago and Bud doesn't, he watches the policemen destroy the Flint Hooverville before continuing on his way. He decides he's just going to have to walk to Grand Rapids, and at the library, after some assistance from a kind librarian, finds out how long it would take him to walk to Grand Rapids from Flint (24 hours). He sets out, and as he comes to his first city, Owosso, he meets up with Mr. 'Lefty' Lewis who, after some fierce interrogating and a minor incident with the car, in which Bud tried to hijack it out of fear, offers Bud a ride. When Bud finally gets to Grand Rapids, he discovers the musician he thought was his father was 'a mean old coot with a big belly' and not his father. When the other members of the band find out about Bud, they invite him to join and a few days later, Bud finds out that herman E. Calloway is not his father . . . but close.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a children's book that my grandson recommended I read and for his age group 11 yrs it is very good. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Judith Vance
Very nice! Prompt service. Will make a nice graduation gift for my niece this coming spring. One of my favourite books.Published on Feb. 28 2014 by Grammie
It is a valuable book dealing with such social issues as racism, homelessness, poverty while still keeping an optimistic tone of affectionate comedy. Read morePublished on March 19 2007 by 19 Years Waiting
I liked this book becuase it was a wonderful story about history(the Great deppresion) and a boy trying to find out who he was. Or rather, who his father was. Read morePublished on July 5 2004 by Emily Moon
"Bud Not Buddy" is the story of a young boy in the Great Depression whose mother has died, leaving him with what he believes to be a clue to his unknown father's identity: a flyer... Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by teachermd79
bud, not buddy is my favorite book. this book had me laughing and crying. i read it in like, the fourth grade and its still my fav book. i suggest this book to ne1!Published on June 17 2004 by Keisha
I loved the Bud, Not Buddy book because I really liked the way Christofer Paul Curtis tells the story. He also describes well the characters. Read morePublished on June 11 2004
If you love mystery books, and at the same time fun books,read Bud-Not-Buddy. It is an enthusiastic book. It talkes about an orfan that faces very bad times. Read morePublished on June 3 2004
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