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I borrowed a paperback copy from the kid I babysit. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.
Title: Bud, Not Buddy
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Publication Date: September 14, 2004 (First published January 1, 1999)
The 11-year-old I babysit for had to read this book in school. I read it on my own as the kids did their homework in case he had questions about the content or needed help with the homework about it. I can’t remember if I read this book in school before but it did look familiar to me.
Bud, a 10-year-old, living on the streets in Flint, Michigan in 1936 is our protagonist. He goes from one home to the next, eventually going on the run to find his biological father. His mother passed away when he was six and she had given him just a single clue to who his father was. Bud takes what little belongings he has and journeys to find his father.
This story is great. It really gets to the heart of what went on in the 1930s, the Great Depression, and even to people of color. It also touches upon the Jazz Age which is a delight as well.
I do think this is a book that needs to be read between the lines, though. The story is focused on Bud surviving and making it to his father with all the background things happening that a 10-year-old wouldn’t typically notice. This is a great read but if you’re child is going to read it, be sure to be available for discussion about it.
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis