Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud's name is Bud, not Buddy.  Most people try to call him Buddy but he straightens them out...

Random House Kids books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check your local bookstore for a copy.  This book has won both the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award.

When Bud's young mother dies, he's placed in a home.  No one is interested in adopting older boys.  All Bud knows is that he has some flyers about a jazz player that he thinks is his father.  He figures his only chance is to travel to Chicago and see if he can find him.

Not only is it a long way on foot, Bud is black.  Traveling is hard for everyone but for someone young it's worse.  He misses out on a few meals but the people around him are nice and try to help him.  The ones that took him to foster him weren't but they are far behind him now.  He also has an opportunity to  meet the Mighty Miss Malone, even if he doesn't realize it.  (Her story is in a companion book and also an excellent read.)

When he finds the man on the flyer, he's way too old to be his father and he doesn't want anything to do with him.  However, the other band members are nice and not only feed him but buy him an instrument to play.  When he finally proves, by accident, that his mother was related to the old man things get worse.  Herman is devastated to hear his daughter has died.  Bud is amazed he cares that much but he figures, with time, things will settle down again.  In the meantime, he has a saxophone to learn to play...

This is a story about a tough time for all people, but especially colored people.  There are facts interspersed within the fictional story and it makes a fascinating read.  I'm glad Bud found himself a family, even if it is a bit rag-tag.  Sometimes friends are better than family anyway.

Happy reading.

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