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on January 22, 2000
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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on January 31, 2000
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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on January 26, 2000
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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VINE VOICEon February 5, 2000
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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on March 14, 2000
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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on October 7, 1999
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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on May 25, 2000
My first thought on reading this book was that it is NOT as wonderful as Holes, Maniac Magee, The Giver, or many of the previous Newbery winners. It doesn't have the complexity of plot or the delightful quality of the magic that can exist in the written word like the above titles do. I also thought that the truth about the identity of Bud's background was much too transparent. But, after re-reading it, and talking to young people about this book, I changed my mind. Bud is a storybook character that lives and breathes for the children who read about him. He has the same fears, foibles, and hopes that most young people possess. His 'Rules For A Better Life..' bring smiles to the children who read them. Kids root for Bud with as much vigor and enthusiasm as they did for Stanley in Holes, Jeffrey in Maniac Magee, and Jonas in The Giver. Children are comforted by the fact that there is a happy ending and that they can see exactly where it is heading. So I readjusted my 48 year old way of viewing literature, and tried to look at this book through the eyes of a child. From that fresh viewpoint, this book delivers Newbery-quality entertainment.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 25, 2003
BUD, NOT BUDDY is a story about a ten-year-old African-American boy living in Michigan during the time of the Great Depression. Bud's mother passed away when he was six and over the past several years he has lived from orphanage to foster home to orphanage to foster home. After being locked in an old shed on the land of his current foster family, Bud decides that it's time he ran away and went on the lam to look for his father. Bud has never met his father but has a pretty good idea who it might be, a famous bass player and band leader by the name of Herman E. Calloway. Bud sets out on a journey to meet Herman E. Calloway and along the way learns a great deal about the country that he never knew before.
BUD, NOT BUDDY is a great book for older elementary and middle school students to read. It touches upon all sorts of issues that are both historical (the Great Depression, Hoovervilles, hobos) and current (racism, KKK). The book is told from Bud's point of view, but is never condescending. Christopher Paul Curtis captures the feel and imagination of a child storyteller perfectly. A charming book to read, full of historical insight and youthful imagination.
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on May 14, 2000
"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. One of the things that Bud never forgot was this "And Bud, I want you always to remember, no matter how bad things look to you, no matter how dark the night, when one door closes, don't worry, Because another door opens." This quote is true for anybody, it is how life is expressed. We can always fall on something if it be open doors or closed doors. Christopher Paul Curtis, has beautiful writing and I really enjoyed reading his fiction book on the adventures of "Bud, Not Buddy"
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on December 14, 1999
My sixth grade students adored "The Watson's go to Birmingham" - I can't wait for the paperback edition of "Bud." I'm going to order a class set.
It's a very sweet historical novel. I never laughed so hard reading the chapter when Bud gets his new nickname.
I also love how he used his own grandfathers as inspiration for a couple of the characters - It sort of makes students think - maybe I could write too.
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