you can call me Al...or Bud

In my continuing Newbery award winners quest, I recently read Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis. The book was good, definitely an improvement on some of my recent reads, (i.e. The Cat Who Went to Heaven and The Secret of the Andes).

The story follows Bud, an orphan who's "on the lam," after running away from a foster home where he was beaten; as if that's not bad enough, throw in the fact that it's during the Great Depression, Bud is black and he's trying to get from Flint to Grand Rapids, MI on foot. As Bud searches for his father (based on some clues left behind when his mother passed away) he learns a little bit about what he is capable of, and what family really means.

I appreciated that it all took place in Michigan; that Curtis weaved snippets of history into the story, i.e. Hooverville, (which Bud mishears as "Hooperville"--where he meets Deza Malone, the star of Curtis' latest, The Mighty Miss Malone.) I like books like Bud, Not Buddy because it can be used as a great tool/conversation starter about topics like: The Great Depression, racism in the United States (then and now), ideas of family. Overall, would I recommend the book? I would, and I did. I liked it.

Ages: 8+

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