Bud, Not Buddy

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4.4 (19)
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Bud, Not Buddy
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 07, 1999
ISBN
0385323069
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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 filled with his own important, secret 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 of 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 and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

Bud, Not Buddy is full of laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful characters, hitting the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression. Once again Christopher Paul Curtis, author of the award-winning novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, takes readers on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Winner of the the Newbery Medal
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0

I've often heard people complain that the books that win awards don't deserve them. No one could say that of Bud, Not Buddy, which won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award.


Bud is a ten-year-old African American orphan in 1936. His mother died when he was six and he's been shuffled in and out of foster homes ever since. What's he's learned are things like:


You Have to Give Adults Something That They Think They Can Use to Hurt You by Taking It Away. That Way They Might Not Take Something Away That You Really Do Want. Unless They're Crazy or Real Stupid They Won't Take Everything Because if They Did They Wouldn't Have Anything to Hold Over Your Head to Hurt You Later. (Rule #118)

Bud has a list or rules he calls Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. Some are cynical, some are funny and all have a sense of truth to them. They pop up throughout the book and provide a lot of insight into Bud's character.


The moment of truth comes when Bud finds himself locked in the spooky shed of his latest foster home's family (after being beaten up by the owner's son and blamed for it). He decides to high tail it out of there. After enacting some fitting revenge, he hooks up with a fellow escapee from the orphanage.


He doesn't stay long with Bugs before striking out on his own. You see, he has a dream. It grew from a passing thought, as Bud says, into a mighty tree of certainty. His mother had left behind some clues to his father's identity. Besides small rocks with city and date names written on them, he has a collection of flyers for Herman E. Calloway and his famous band. Bud is convinced that the giant fiddle player is his dad. Nothing anyone says or does, including Mr. Calloway, can convince him otherwise. The truth will surprise everyone, including Mr. Calloway and his band.


Bud is one of the most engaging characters I have read about in recent years. His voice rings true and you can't help but adore him (though he would be mightily embarassed if you told him that). Everday kids every where would enjoy this book, as will adults. Teachers could use it quite effectively as supplemental reading about The Great Depression.

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User reviews

19 reviews

 
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(7)
 
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Overall rating 
 
4.4
Plot 
 
4.1  (19)
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5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
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Great Book
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Bud not Buddy is awesome! im in year 9 and im reading it in school for an assignment. On the first day i was supposed to read only up to chapter 2 but i could not let go of the book and read up to chapter 8! that is how interesting this book is. if you are trying to decide whether or not to buy this book buy it!
Good Points
Bud, not buddy, this book is historical fiction classic that as far as i know is read all over the world by kids who want to know what post-segregation was like. These years still had some segregated parts but not many. This book was about a little kid that lives in a foster home and gets sent to a mean family. he try to escape and finally dose. On his way he gets his first kiss and meats a nice white man. But when he finally find his destination which his supposed to be his dad but finds out it is his grandfather when he shows a picture of his mom.
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Bud never buddy
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by mcpenny

Bud, not buddy, this book is historcal fiction classic that as far as i know is read all over the world by kids who want to know what post-segeration was like. These years still had some segergated parts but not many. This book waas about a little kid that lives in a foster home and gets sent to a mean family. he try to escape and finally dose. On his way he gets his first kiss and meats a nice white man. But when he fillaly find his destonation which his supposed to be his dad but finds out it is his gradfather when he shows a picture of his mom.
                                                -cameron penny 6th grader 
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bud not buddy
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Eva

Bud not Buddy is awesome! im in fifth grade and im reading it in school with my teachers Mrs. Landa and Ms. Tamayo on the first day i was supposed to read only up to chapter 2 but i could not let go of the book and read up to chapter 8! that is how interesting this book is. if you are trying to decide wether or not to buy this book buy it! ( unless your other option is the twilight seires or the unfortunate events of ther bauldiere children beacause those are my favorite series they are even beter than bud not buddy)
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Good
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by looneytunez8

In this story, Bud and his friends run away from an orphanage in order to find out who Bud's father is. During his journey, he meets new people and have new experiences of things. Bud is a funny character and I think kids in elementary school will most like this book. The ending was satisfying, and overall, it was a good book. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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OK
Overall rating 
 
4.0
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4.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by bookworm9

When Bud runs away from his new foster home after an unfortunate incident involving a pencil and a wasps' nest, he's not really sure where to go. But a combination of circumstances has him heading off to meet his never-before-seen dad, a man he only knows from the jazz flyers his dead mom left behind. Bud finds the man, but it's hardly a warm reception. So why does he feel so at home?

This was a fun book to read because, despite the heavy subject matter, Bud is an engaging and humorous narrator. His adventures keep the book rolling at a good pace, but you can't help but wish that Curtis would go a little deeper with his story. The period details from the Depression are nicely done, though.
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~GREAT BOOK~
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by victoria t

This book is great! i love it ! i had to read it for 6 grade ! its about a boy bud! he thinks that herman e caloway is his dad!so he decided to run away to see him, since his mom died a long time ago. on the wa bud meets new people gets rides has his first kiss and much more! its a great book but i now i am going to have a test on it and i forgot it all! i mostly forgot the nickname bud gets from the band, but its still great! i recomened it totally!!!!!
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THEY SHOULD HAVE MORE THINGS THAT TELL YOU AND TEACHES YOU ABOUT PREJUDICE PEOPLE INCLUDING THE TIMES OF BUD
Overall rating 
 
3.0
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3.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Maya Ellis



THE STORY IS MOSTLY ABOUT A BOY NAMED BUD , WHO WANTS TO FIND HIS FATHER, HERMAN E. CALLAWAY. BUD GETS THE IDEA THAT HE IS HIS FATHER BECUASE OF SOME OF THE FLYERS HE HAD SAVED FROM HIS MOTHER.ON HIS WAY HE BUMPS INTO A GUY NAMED "LEFTY LEWIS". HE WAS A BASEBALL PLAYER.IF U WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK U SHOULD PROBABLY READ IT , AND SEE IF HERMAN E. CALLAWAY IS BUD'S REAL FATHER.
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found
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4.0
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4.0
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Reader reviewed by swim freak

a brilliant story of a boy in search of a relative. when he escaped the orphanage he decided to find herman f. calloway a person on some flyers that his mother always looked at.
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hmm
Overall rating 
 
2.0
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2.0
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Reader reviewed by Ashley

this book was heart touching. it tells of a young boy, named bud, not buddy. he believes his father is a famous musician. its a great surprise to him when he finally meets the man that denies being his father.
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Bud not Buddy
Overall rating 
 
4.0
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4.0
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0.0
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Reader reviewed by Tina

a very good book, enjoyful bud a kid who lives in the home wants to find his dad who he thinks is herman e colloway. read this book and set out on the jorney to find herman e colloway
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