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Bud, Not Buddy

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  67,308 Ratings  ·  3,379 Reviews
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
Paperback, 245 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1999)
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Jodi Don't forget when Bud thinks there is a vampire bat in the Amos's shed when he was locked in there in Chapter 3! Sadly, it turned out to be a hornet's…moreDon't forget when Bud thinks there is a vampire bat in the Amos's shed when he was locked in there in Chapter 3! Sadly, it turned out to be a hornet's nest and he was stung many times before he jumped out of the window.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mrs. Posmer
Nov 29, 2011 Mrs. Posmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will never look at a 'ticonderoga' pencil the same again!
Feb 19, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it
One of my husband's grandsons (the 5th grader) asked me if I'd read this book and when I said 'no' (I hadn't heard of it), he told me it was good. Well, if a boy, about to turn 11, takes the time to recommend a book to me, odds are I'm going to read it.

The voice of the 10-year-old, Bud (not Buddy), in this novel is irrepressible and the setting of Flint, Michigan, during the Depression comes to life with tons of details but not a one of them ponderous. While keeping its tone age-appropriate, the
Elle Fae
Dnf at around 80%.

It's not that book wasn't good. The writing was fun to read, the main character Bud not Buddy was adorable and his determination to make his life better was so uplifting.

But I just kept it under my bed for so long that I'm no longer interested in finishing it. That, and it was overdue at my library so I had to return it today.

So I doubt I'll be reviewing this properly. Looks like I'm just as lazy trying to type words to describe this book now as I was reading the book.

I won't b
Linda Lipko
Christopher Paul Curtis did it again! In writing this 2000 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King award-winning book, he wove another magical, enchanting, complex, well crafted and spell binding tale filled with poignancy, sadness and laughter while teaching history in a captivating way.

I've raved about this author before, so please indulge my obsession one more time in encouraging you to take a few hours of solitude to savor every word, phrase and nuance of this incredible writer.

What's in a name
Ash R.
Jan 15, 2009 Ash R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bud, Not Buddy is a tense book that took place during the Great Depression. It is about an Orphan thats an African Boy looking for this father with only few clues of finding him. He use to live with his mother all his life, but after his mother got sick for awhile, she dies and Bud is sent to "The Home". His mother did tell him his father was in a jazz band and Bud escaped and was on his way to look for his dad.

I can make a text to world connection to Bud trying to find his dad because there ar
This was no The Watsons Go to Birmingham. Just a little too predictable. But it's powerfully told, and Curtis has the rare ability to get inside the head of his young narrators. Especially smart, sassy, sensitive little boys... Bud is definitely a winner.

Audiobook minuses:
While younger readers might find them really funny, these two things drove me CRazy. Especially trapped in the car wishing my eyes could glaze over a line or two.
1)The slang seemed vaguely era-appropriate (see Rebecca's Fictio
When Bud Caldwell decides to run away from his most recent foster family in Depression-era Michigan, he has no destination in mind. After a few days (and a failed attempt to hop a train), he realizes that the only place he knows to go is Grand Rapids, Michigan, to look up the man that he is convinced is his father. Unfortunately Herman E. Calloway, a famous jazz musician, has no interest in taking care of a 10-year-old orphan who could not possibly be his son. Bud lands on his feet, though, than ...more
Stephanne Stacey
My daughter had to read this for school. This is the daughter that doesn't like to read. She loved it, and told me that I had to read it as well! Any one that knows me would know how weird and remarkable that is. So I borrowed the class addition and read it this weekend. Amazing! For a young adult book this should be a must read.

The story will make you laugh, cry, and hope that the protagonist will find what he is looking for. I even enjoyed the way it ended, resolved yet leaving you hoping tha
Book Concierge
Audio book performed by James Avery.
5***** and a

In Depression-era Flint, Michigan, 10-year-old Bud Caldwell (BUD, not Buddy) is plucked from the “home” to go to a foster family. This will be the third foster home he’s been in, and he’s not impressed. But he takes his worn, cardboard suitcase with his few but treasured possessions and tries to make the best of it. Before he knows it, he’s on the lam, determined to find his own way and sure that the things his Momma left him are clues to his fat
May 22, 2014 Charity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
This might sound silly, but this book reminded me that ten-year-old boys are still children. I have a son, but he's not yet five, so it's clear that he's still a child, and my nine-year-old daughter reminds me several times a day that she's still a child, but the ten-year-old boys I know all seem so tall and lanky and serious and I see them just infrequently enough that I forget how young ten is. I'm sure my son will remind me as he gets older.

Bud is so self-sufficient and at the same time so vu
David Sof 2014
Mar 26, 2009 David Sof 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bud, Not Buddy is a book by Christopher paul Curtis. It is about an lonely african boy who is a orphan looking for this dad with only a slight amount of clues to seek him. His mother was sick and she died. Bud was sent to a place called the Home. His mother gave him some of what hes father was and he learned he was in a jazz band and more. So he gets out of the place and the search had begun.

I can connect this to the world and other books of Orphans never knowing what their parents were or who s
Nov 20, 2008 Jacquelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Historical fiction Reading level: Ages 9-12
A young boy decides to run away from his foster home and travel across country in search of a man he believes to be his father. His only knowledge of this elusive figure lies in his most precious possessions, a handful of flyers that his mother held dear featuring a musician in a series of jazz bands. Bud uses his wit, humor, and his “Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself”. Food and jobs may be hard to
Dec 02, 2008 Lstirl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On an adventure to find a family, Bud charms and moves the reader with both his fortitude and wit.

Ages 9-12

This is a very moving and heartwarming book. The adventurous nature of the book will appeal to children, as will the optimistic and humorous protagonist, Bud. Along his journey to find a family, Bud meets many interesting and well-presented characters, such as the mouth organ playing man at "Hooverville," his friend, Bugs, and Miss Thomas. While the setting is bleak and sad, Bud remains fu
(NS) Becca
I listened to this audio book and found that it was well read, but something about the book made me drift at times that I think I might have been able to stay more focused if I were reading. This novel takes place in the 1930's and is about a boy named Bud who is an orphan. The book chronicles the struggles Bud faces as he runs away from a foster home in search of a better life. He has no mother and never met his father, but is on a journey to find him. He decides his father must be a famous man ...more
KidsFiction Teton County Library
Teton County Library Call No:J CURTIS
Kurt's rating: 5 stars

Bud is living in an orphanage after the death of his mother. He has never known his father. He keeps his possessions in a battered old suitcase. Among his favorite things are some old flyers for concert appearances featuring Herman E. Calloway. Bud believes that Calloway must be his father because of the way his mother used to look at the flyers. When his latest foster home situation results in abuse, he runs away, determined to find his
Nov 06, 2009 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Kristen by: a library school professor and the Newbery committee
I need to learn to stop reading the last pages of books for my Children's Materials class in coffee shops. It always sounds like such a good idea, but ends in my crying, surreptitiously wiping tears away, while the people in the shop look away from me in embarrassment. And Bud, Not Buddy was no exception to this rule. I am an overwrought, emotional sucker.

I loved this book. I laughed out loud in several places--most notably when Bud would tell his "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things to have a Funne
Mar 20, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a very realistic setting, Illinois to another State, just to find his Dad! Bud takes a very long journey to get to his dad. This journey, also made Bud take risks, like when Bud travels with a man to the hospital to deliver blood and he drives him to his Dad's house. Well, that's not the end, he gets to be in the band!
Sep 25, 2008 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery
I really liked this sweet kid's voice. The author does it perfectly--his own voice never intrudes. I liked the way racism is touched on several times, because it's an inescapable part of Bud's life, but not dwelt on, because that isn't what the story's about.

It has something of a fantasy ending, but that's maybe not such a bad thing here.
Re-read on 10-25-14
Liked this better the second time around. My favorite scene is the one where the band mates give Bud his stage name: Sleepy La Bone. Too funny! James Avery as the audiobook narrator was a fantastic choice.
Nov 22, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I see why this beautifully written story won the Coretta Scott King award. I would recommend this delightful novel for all to read. Even my husband was interested. He usually reads non-fiction.
Dec 27, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grant
My 9 year old gives this 5 stars.

Updated: I read this myself. Great book. I loved it.
Jan 17, 2016 Marius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was interesting and strange at the same time. It also taught me more about that time period the book takes place in along with a valuable lesson. This book takes place in the middle of the great depression during the mid 1930's. This African American boy lives in a shelter until he found another foster family, but the parents and the other child or son of their family abused Bud in bad ways and didn't hear his opinion on any incident that happened and immediately blamed it on ...more
LCL Children'S
Sep 16, 2015 LCL Children'S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ten-year-old Bud has been passed from orphanage to foster home since he was six years old. When things go wrong at yet another foster home, he sets out on his own with just an old suitcase full of his most treasured belongings -- mostly mementos from his mother. After a few adventures and misadventures around town, Bud sets out from Flint, Michigan to Grand Rapids. He's off to find Herman E. Calloway, the man Bud believes to be his father. You see, his mother never told him who his father was, b ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Bud, Not Buddy," by Christopher Paul Curtis is about a boy named Bud Caldwell who is motherless, and has no idea where his father is. Life is rough for him in the foster home(s), for he isn't treated with much respect. One day, he is sent to another foster home, and that became the final straw. Angry, Bud finds a way to retrieve his hidden suitcase, for he was ready to find his father. Before his mother passed away, Bud discovers a flyer his mother took home, with a band name and information on ...more
Aury Sevy
These are hard times for orphans. Not many are lucky to find a good family. Bud has a secret though, he knows who his daddy is and he’s going to find him. With his suitcase in hand, he can get to his daddy.

Bud’s mother died when he was just six, he doesn’t feel sad about it though and she died quick and painless. He doesn’t like the home, but even worse, he doesn’t like his new family that fosters him. Bud decides because he can’t go back to the orphanage that he’s going to instead find his dadd
Anna Morton
May 08, 2015 Anna Morton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A bud is a flower-to-be. A flower in waiting. Waiting for just the right warmth and care to open up. It's a little fist of love waiting to unfold and be seen by the world. And that's you." That is what Bud's mother tells him while explaining to him what kind of person he is. Bud is a ten-year-old boy who's mother died when he was six. He has been in two different foster homes but neither of them would keep him. All that Bud keeps with him is a suitcase filled with a few things to remind him of ...more
Aubree Leishman
Apr 30, 2015 Aubree Leishman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked reading this book!! It was written by Christopher Paul Curtis, who captures the excitement of a boy in search of a long lost relative. You will find wit and charm only a young boy can bring.
Bud is a smart, talented young kid who will not be called Buddy. His mother died and left him to discover the world alone. The only clue he's left with of his father is some old flyers, which he soon pursues. He takes a journey and ends up in a band, that knows where to get really good food. Do
Feb 27, 2015 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rll-539
Bud Not Buddy written by Christopher Paul Curtis is funny, witty, heartbreaking, frustrating, and just about every emotion you can think of bottled up into one book. Bud is a ten-year-old little boy whose mom passed away when he was six and has been in the orphanage ever since. He gets moved around from home to home during the time of the Great Depression and can’t quite seem to find a good fit. He carries a suitcase filled with different keepsakes that his mom left him and he refuses to leave t ...more
Lauren Staples
Oct 24, 2014 Lauren Staples rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read this book, I was in 4th grade. I loved it, and that's coming from someone who hates to read. In 4th grade I didn't have the same comprehension level as I have now. I read it again in 6th grade. I still liked it very much. I understood more of the morals and themes then, too. I read it for a third time in 7th grade, and it is still one of the best books I've read. I read it over and over because it had something that no other book I'd read before had. It was interesting.

Connie  Kuntz
May 05, 2014 Connie Kuntz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This takes place during the Great Depression. Bud is a ten-year old boy whose mother died. His father is estranged. When we meet Bud (not Buddy), he is living in one of those dreadful orphanages in Michigan. Not too far into the story, after a harrowing experience in a foster home, he runs away so he can survive. When he is on the lam, he also finds himself to be on a quest to find his father, a Mr. Herman E. Calloway. After a couple of missteps and lucky breaks, Bud ends up with the Dusty Devas ...more
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Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan on May 10, 1953 to Dr. Herman Elmer Curtis, a chiropodist, and Leslie Jane Curtis, an educator. The city of Flint plays an important role in many of Curtis's books. One such example is Bucking the Sarge, which is about a fifteen year old boy named Luther T. Ferrel, who is in a running battle with his slum-lord mother. Curtis is an alumnus of the University of Mic ...more
More about Christopher Paul Curtis...

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“...that was Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things to Have a Funner LIfe and Make a Better Liar Out of Yourself Number 83...If a Adult Tells You Not to Worry, and You Weren't Worried Before, You Better Hurry Up and Start 'Cause You're Already Running Late.” 45 likes
“Rules and Things Number 63: Never, Ever Say Something Bad About Someone You Don't Know--Especially When You're Around a Bunch of Strangers. You Never Can Tell Who Might Be Kin to That Person or Who Might Be a Lip-Flapping, Big-Mouth Spy.” 35 likes
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