Bud, Not Buddy
|Author:||Christopher Paul Curtis|
|Publisher:||Delacorte Books for Young Readers|
It's 1936 Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and 10-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy, but Bud’s got a few things going for him: 1. He has his own suitcase full of special things; 2. He’s the author of "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself"; 3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: posters of Herman E. Calloway and his band of renown, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression. Bud is sure those posters will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road, nothing can stop him, not hunger, not fear, not would-be vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.
"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