Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy

Book - 1999
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Hit the road with Bud in this Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy on a journey to find his father--from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go To Birmingham--1963 , a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree.

It's 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, 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: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!

Bud's got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

"[A] powerfully felt novel." -- The New York Times

Publisher: New York, N.Y.: Delacorte, 1999
ISBN: 9780385323062
Branch Call Number: JUV FIC Cur
Characteristics: 245p


From the critics

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Feb 09, 2021

The story is about a ten-year-old boy named Bud who likes to introduce himself as “Bud not Buddy”. Bud leaves his orphanage, then he leaves a half-way house, in hope of finding his dad. The story takes place in Flint/Grand Rapids during the great depression. I recommend this book to kids ages 11-13 because their vocabulary is just about right for this book. And, make sure your parents do not see you getting this book or you will be forced into doing a book report. You have been warned!

OPL_KIDS Jun 09, 2020

Bud Caldwell, motherless and tired of being mistreated, has decided it's time to set out on his own in search of his father. His mother has left him a clue that he keeps safe along with his other sacred treasures in his suitcase. With his suitcase full of memories and his very own "Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself," Bud is ready for this journey. Set in 1936 in Flint, Michigan, this story doesn't shy away from painful realities that Bud is experiencing. However, it does so in a way that you can't help but love Bud and root for him until the very last page. This story is beautifully woven together with a cast of characters so memorable, you will fall in love with them as they meet Bud, not Buddy.

Reviewed by Miss Rachel

May 29, 2020

This book is a great book to read and is also historically accurate to the Great Depression era. While the story does have a good plot, the book lacks any kind of intense action. There is a scene where he has to run away, but it isn't that intense and eventually, it gets boring fast. But otherwise, the story is great and it has a great storyline and its a good story about a young orphaned boy.

ArapahoeMarcia Oct 26, 2018

A truly amazing story of a young boy working to overcome numerous life struggles during the Depression era in the Midwest. Highly recommended!

Mar 21, 2018

My feelings about Bud, Not Buddy are colored strongly by the circumstances under which I read it. It was an assigned book in my 7th grade English class, and we were required to pull a set number of vocabulary words from the book. There were not enough words in the book that I did not know, and thus I was given extra work to make up for it. This was frustrating, and made it hard for me to like the book as much. I do remember liking the story.

Dec 13, 2017

This book was interesting and also touching. It was also very relatable, especially considering it all took place in the Midwest... specifically Grand Rapids, Mi. (Where Im from). Got this book for my 11 year old son. Great read!!

Oct 09, 2017

Bud, Not Buddy is a book about a foster kid who ditches his home and looks for his 'father'. I didn't enjoy this book as much as others. I like any action, which there was almost none of in this book. However, there is a lot of funny parts!

MsCourtney Jul 07, 2017

Bud is not a book I would normally read. It came highly recommended by KHCPL_Mikayla and for good reason. Bud is a funny, heart-warming character who hasn't let life get him down. He has this optimistic yet realistic outlook on life and pulls you into his drama with a smile on your face. I am putting this aside to re-read with my oldest in a couple of years. Bud will be a great read for boys, especially.

TSCPL_NatalieM Sep 09, 2016

This middle grades novel, winner of both the Coretta Scott King Award and the John Newbery Medal, follows the journey of ten-year-old Bud, who runs away from his foster home in search of his father. Bud lost his mother when he was 6, but he never lost the upbringing she gave him. Bud is notable for his tenacity, his introspectiveness, and his impeccable manners. Several of the characters in the novel are loosely based on Curtis’s ancestors, and he manages to realistically capture the heartbreaking challenges people experienced during the Great Depression without making the story depressing or sad.

Apr 27, 2016

The book was given a Newberry medal for a reason. It was also very accurate for the time period. Bud, Not Buddy is a very depressing book at first. There is some abuse and, him being an orphan, it has a sad backstory. But Bud's fun and sometimes hilarious commentary adds life to the depressing (literally, this is set in the depression) setup. Bud's adventure is exciting and often dangerous. But Bud always finds his way out of problems, and manages to survive on his own. A very good read. Without any spoilers, the ending is honestly kind of confusing and sad, and I want to see where the author takes it from here. But otherwise, the book was good and I recommend it.

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viviandai thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 1 and 99

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lms May 07, 2008

"when 10-year-old Bud Caldwell runs away from his new home, he realizes he has nowhere to go but to search for the father he has never known: a legendary musician advertised on some old posters his deceased mother had kept. A friendly stranger picks him up on the road in the middle of the night and deposits him in Grand Rapids, MI, with Herman E. Calloway and his jazz band, but the man Bud was convinced was his father turns out to be old, cold, and cantankery. Luckily, the band members are more welcoming; they take him in, put him to work, and begin to teach him to play an instrument. In a Victorian ending, Bud uses the rocks he has treasured from his childhood to prove his surprising relationship with Mr. Calloway. The lively humor contrasts with the grim details of the Depression-era setting and the particular difficulties faced by African Americans at the time." (Novelist Review)


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