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Bud, Not Buddy Hardcover – September 7, 1999


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Bud, Not Buddy + The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 (Newbery Honor Book) + Esperanza Rising
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385323069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385323062
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (792 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"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.

More About the Author


Photo © 2003 James Keyser
author spotlight
"To me the highest accolade comes when a young reader tells me, 'I really liked your book.' The young seem to be able to say 'really' with a clarity, a faith, and an honesty that we as adults have long forgotten. That is why I write."--Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis made an outstanding debut in children's literature with The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963. His second novel, Bud, Not Buddy, is the first book ever to receive both the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Born in Flint, Michigan, Christopher Paul Curtis spent his first 13 years after high school on the assembly line of Flint's historic Fisher Body Plant # 1. His job entailed hanging car doors, and it left him with an aversion to getting into and out of large automobiles--particularly big Buicks.

With grandfathers like Earl "Lefty" Lewis, a Negro Baseball League pitcher, and 1930s bandleader Herman E. Curtis, Sr., of Herman Curtis and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression, it is easy to see why Christopher Paul Curtis was destined to become an entertainer.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 tells the story of 10-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan, and their unforgettable journey that leads them into one of the darkest moments in American history. It is by turns a hilarious, touching, and tragic story about civil rights and the impact of violence on one family.

Curtis's novel Bud, Not Buddy focuses on 10-year-old Bud Caldwell, who hits the road in search of his father and his home. Times may be hard in 1936 Flint, Michigan, but orphaned Bud's got a few things going for him; he believes his mother left a clue of who his father was--and nothing can stop Bud from trying to find him.

Customer Reviews

The story gets really emocional but it is a very good book.
stu roanoke va phhs
Bud, Not Buddy, written by Christopher Paul Curtis, is set in Flint, Michigan during the Great Depression.
Kim S.
I read this book because my sons 6th grade class was reading it and he was excited about reading.
rierie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I read this book last fall, I knew it was a winner. Bud, not Buddy, is an unforgettable character. The tale of a young boy who doesn't let the circumstances of being black during the Depression keep him down is as pertinent today as it was then. It's message is if you have a dream & are willing to work to make it happen, you can rise above even the most humble beginnings and it's told with humor and hope.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Clay on January 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
You will want to adopt Bud (Not Buddy) after the first page! This book speaks to all ages, even if you're 44, like me. Pay close attention to Bud's "Rules and Things"; sound advice from such a young man! And if you ever get the opportunity to hear Christopher Paul Curtis speak in person, don't pass up the chance! I didn't and I am so fortunate to have done so. After you've read "Bud", be sure to get "The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963". You won't be disappointed -you'll be enchanted.
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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful By D. B. Bunting on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After finishing my 2nd Christopher Paul Curtis novel, I am hooked. It is ok that I am a 50-something mom of an 11 year old girl, we both loved The Watsons Go to Birmingham and were very happy to find this Newbery winner even more entertaining, profound, historically educational and a downright pleasure to read. This writer understands not just children but clever, one-step-ahead of the grownups-children, and he makes them lovable, polite in spite of circumstances that could lead to not so appealing behavior, brave, sensitive and SMART. This is a MUST read for all ages.
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful By James Hiller VINE VOICE on February 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Paul Curtis' new book "But, not Buddy" magically accomplishes so much in a book that as a teacher, your head will spin. First and foremost, Curtis picks up the ball of yarn so magically spun in his first classic, "Watson Go to Birmingham" and manages, impossibly so, to create an even more endearing, serious novel. I have LONGED for a book with African-American characters where the color of their skin wasn't the reason for the plot, but a part of the plot. Curtis tackles obvious racism, and a range of other issues like homelessness, poverty, familial issues, and the Great Depression that you're head will be spinning with the connections you can draw in this book. Bud-not-Buddy is such a true child that you are convinced he is real, as well as the wonderful cast of characters Curtis created. To learn about Curtis' own life and how he became an author is to appreciate his gifts of literature even more. DO NOT pass up this book, teachers, and use it for years to come!
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Abby Meyer on May 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Bud, Not Buddy" is a great story for all ages, while reading this great fictional book I imagined the great depression through the eyes of a ten year old boy. Unlike all the other books I have read, this one let me imagine being inside the book with Bud and his rules. Bud being an orphan at the age of ten is tuff on him. His momma died when he was nine, and he was sent to an orphanage. As a reader I could imagine Bud being the awkward position of having a new family, especially when they weren't very nice to him. Bud struggles but always has "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself" He states his rules whenever he has to think through something, it keeps the book going. It helps the reader get a better sense of how smart Bud really is. One struggle Bud has to live through is not knowing who is father is. While reading through the inside flap of the book, I came across this "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! " This is the only thing that Bud could hold close to his heart. When he left his home he took his "I slowly pulled the twine together to close my suitcase." It sounds like an old suitcase, and he hangs on to it all the time, because it's his life. The only reason I can paint a picture in my head about what all goes through Buds life is the cover. They teach you not to judge the cover by the book, but I really couldn't help it. It came across as a really interesting book. I like learning about other cultures during such a hard time such as the Great Depression.Read more ›
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen on March 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the feel-good, hurray for the underdog, farfetched kind of story we all need now and then. Bud, not Buddy is a tough little guy with a heart of gold, enthusiasm and stamina for any adventure life throws his way. There is uncertainty as he gets into one dilemma after another but always a kind person to help him through. Nearly every page will bring a smile to your face and the last few may bring some joyful tears.
The perfect, happy ending is such a delight and reminds me of the more innocent children's chapter books I was reading 30 years ago. I do love the tough, real-life books available now and tend to read those as a rule, but a book like this, as well written as it is, is a welcome change once in awhile.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By James E. Wenzloff on October 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Curtis's first book "The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963" won a Newberry Award. This book is even better.
The story is about a young man growing up in Flint, MI. during the Depression. Bud is an orphan during some very tough times. Kids will be entertained by his rules for a happy life. And everyone will smile as he describes Bud drinking a bottle of soda.
It is both touching and humorous. I would highly recommend this book to students.
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