BY: BRYANNA SLATER
This week I have just finished reading the book Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. I thought I would give a brief but a more indepth summary of the book. The purpose for this book review is if you're looking for a highly recommended but also amazing book.
This book is an amazing story about a young African boy named Bud Caldwell. He was only ten years old, but he was orphaned at the age of six, and he grew up in Flint, Michigan. This story's time frame was set in 1936, four years after Bud's mother had died. If you know enough about the 1930s, you know that this was in the middle of the
Great Depression, so this was a hard time for everyone.
It starts out with Bud in the orphanage and him waiting to be fed, then all the sudden he got snatched up by a caseworker along with another boy named Jerry Clark. She told them that they were both being put into “good homes.” She told Bud that he was going to be put in a home with a boy only two years older than he. The fact that he was going to have an “older brother” scared him because he knew there was going to be fighting, which there was because Todd, the Amoses’ twelve year old son just kept bullying Bud over and over and continuously hitting him and blamed him for things which caused him to runaway.
Bud decides to escape from his foster home in the hope of finding a permanent home and a better life. He brings with him mementos of his mother-- a bag of stones, a special blanket, a childhood photograph of his mom, and fliers for a jazz band-- the Dusky Devastators of the Depression and their leader Herman E. Calloway. Bud decides that he should try to find Calloway who he thinks might be his father.
Bud and Bugs, another orphaned boy, team up and go to the shantytown or Hooverville so they can hop a California bound train and hopefully get jobs in the West. However, Bugs makes it onto the train and Bud doesn't, so Bud returns to Flint where a librarian gives him instructions for getting to Grand Rapids and finding Calloway. Bud begins the long hike from Flint to Grand Rapids, but on the way there, he runs into Lefty Lewis who persuades Bud, using food, into accepting a ride and help. Lewis provides Bud with a real bed to sleep in for the night and a ride to Grand Rapids.
Upon reaching Grand Rapids, Bud finds the band which his father is a member of. Bud’s father rejects him, but his father's fellow band mates go ahead and give him some dinner and are a lot nicer to him. Eventually, Bud finds out that Calloway is his grandfather, and he finds the home he wants with the jazz band. Bud tells the remaining family members about his mother's death, and it causes everyone to be sad.
The book ends with Bud happy and busy learning to play his new saxophone that he got as a gift from Steady Eddie, a saxophone player in his grandfather's band. It also turns out the room he was staying in used to be his mom’s old room. I highly recommend this book because it is like a roller coaster of happy and sad. It’s overall an amazing book.