Elijah of Buxton
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Elijah of Buxton

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  6,224 ratings  ·  968 reviews
Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. He’s best known in his hometown as the boy who made a memorable impression on Frederick Douglass. But things change when a former slave steals money from Elijah’s friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in t...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jan 31, 2008 Julie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: 4th grade and up
Recommended to Julie by: Newbery Honor and CSK
I laughed and cried. Elijah became flesh and blood to me, and of course, I learned a little more about slavery and what it means to be free. It took a page or two for me to get accustomed to the dialect. I kept waiting for the library copy to come in, but went ahead and bought it. It's one worth owning.
Despite that I liked Curtis’s lively, colorful, convincing portrayal of everyday life in Buxton, I felt that Elijah of Buxton had a slow start. However, towards the middle of the novel, when Curtis began weaving individual Buxton residents' escape and slave stories into Elijah’s daily experiences, I slowly came to love the book. As I was reading the novel on a CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) bus, I found myself tearing up, suddenly struck by what Elijah and his mother would call being “fra-gile-...more
Kyle Kimmal

The boys picked to read Elijah of Buxton for this month’s discussion. The librarian asked me how I tricked them into reading an historical novel. I told her it was my wit and good looks. I think it has more to do with the cover. Anyhow, some have loved it, and some have struggled. Third graders are so used to being told to make sure words are spelled correctly that when they read a novel with dialect that is different it takes them out of their comfort zone.

On Friday during Independent Reading I...more
It's going to be hard for me to write about this book without resorting to blatant gushing, but I'll do my best. Elijah of Buxton is one of those books that kept popping up on all the lists this year. When it won both the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, I thought I'd better pick it up and give it a shot.

Now I had read Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud, Not Buddy when it won the Newbery Medal in 2000, and I liked it quite a bit, but I have to admit I wasn't completely blown away. I did...more
Toby Meredith
1. When i first found the book I found the cover interesting, and bold. I also noticed the awards it had gotten from many world author organisations.
2. I thought it was a really good book as it showed emotion and a true tale of friendship while being a sad story overall.
3. That with a true heart, comes great courage.
4. I found elijah a kind-hearted character.He was described brave, and a good friend.
He is known for his great impressions and is a funny but silly boy who is always looking for tr...more
Mary Hoch
Elijah is the first free-born baby on the Buxton Settlement in Canada. The story takes place in 1860 and tells the story of Elijah at age 11. Buxton represents hope for former slaves and those trying to reach freedom. As Elijah comes of ages, he tries to overcome the fragility of childhood. He sets out to help his friend, Mr. Leroy, buy his family out of slavery. They journey to America after someone they thought they could trust runs off with Mr. Leroy’s money. On this journey, Elijah shows cou...more
Jun 21, 2008 Sunny rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Adults
I wish I had a book club to discuss this book with. Spencer, I think, has opted not to read this one. Darn. So, if anyone chooses to read this book I'd love to talk about it with you!

The whole first part of the book wasn't very interesting. I really had no desire to keep reading it. I could've put it down and forgotten all about it - except that I kept thinking, "This won the NEWBERRY AWARD! Come on! This has to get good at some point!" Finally, towards the end it does get really good. But i th...more
This was an immediate 4-star from the first few paragraphs, when Curtis drew me in once more with his stellar writing that crackles and explodes like Rice Krispies. It's not as funny as Watsons Go To Birmingham, but it still has a couple hilarious scenes and boatloads of humorous dialogue. The humor in this book, however, almost always features something heartbreaking and sad as well. Sometimes, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. I loved the historical details, which actually nailed the real...more
James Govednik
I listened to this book on audio CD, and it was fantastic. Mirron Willis does a great job of bringing Elijah and all the other numerous characters to life. Christopher Paul Curtis's story is informative, moving and uplifting. We get a glimpse of life in Buxton, a settlement of escaped slaves in Canada. Elijah is the first child born free in Buxton. I loved the way the historical details were woven into the story, from the school routine to daily chores to daring escapes from the brutality of sla...more
This was a very interesting read. I generally love historical fiction novels, and this was no exception. Elijah is an 11-year-old boy living in Buxton, a settlement made up of freed slaves from America. He was the first child born "free". It is told in first person, Elijah being the voice. The language used by Elijah and the other characters seemed very authentic, yet sometimes hard to grasp in the beginning. However, soon I found myself more comfortable with the phrasing and vocabulary and coul...more
Elijah of Buxton
by: Christopher Paul Curtis

Review: Elijah is an eleven-year old boy living in Buxton, Canada, on a plantation for free slaves and their families. He was the first son born into freedom in his town. Elijah and his best friend, Cooter get to go to school and try their best. Elijah is very well known to the people in his community as a "fra-gile" boy who is scared of snakes, but when Elijah finds out that a man has stolen his friends money Elijah knows he will have to be brave. Elij...more
Elijah is a “fragile” boy. After playing a practical joke on his elders, his mother repays the effort by having Elijah pull out a snake from a cookie jar. The boy runs screaming through the forest, and we are exposed to why his family has given him this tag. Elijah as the first free born black child in the Canadian settlement of Buxton, Ontario has much to learn about the complexities of adult life. Upon catching 10 fish, the local preacher uses his authority and Elijah's ignorance of the word “...more
I had a hard time deciding what to rate this book. It isn't very action-packed or exciting. In fact, the events from the book description don't take place until the last 100 pages of the story. For the first 240 pages I felt like I was waiting for the real story to begin.

Also, the heavy use of dialect makes the reading a bit tedious. I hope I never have to read "gunn" used for "going to" or even "gonna" again!

On the other hand, I was fascinated with the setting. I learned a lot I hadn't known be...more
This story takes place in the early 1860's just before the Civil War. Elijah is the main character and the narrator of the story. He was the first person born in the Buxton, Ontario settlement where runaway slaves would hide; therefore, he was not considered a slave/runaway slave. He is a very gullible 11 year old and consistently tries to prove that he is becoming a man despite his silliness and frequent mistakes. He is constantly called "fragile" by his mother and other people in the town of B...more
L-Crystal Wlodek
Elijah of Buxton is recommended for children in grades 6-8. I read this book in the audio book format, which was an Odyssey Award Honor book in 2009. This book is focused around Elijah Buxton, the first child born into freedom in Buxton, a settlement in Canada of runaway slaves. He is best known for his ability to throw rocks. He is also known to be “fragile”, but that changes when he goes on journey to America to find a thief who steels money from a friend who is trying to save money to buy his...more
Reading Level: Middle school and older
Elijah is an eleven year old boy - the first child born into freedom in Buxton Canada. Buxton is a settlement of former escaped slaves situated just over the border from Detroit. It is 1860 and Elijah finds himself helping a man . . . a former slave who gives all his money to the dishonest preacher who promises to take the money to get the man's slave family safely back to Buxton. When the preacher steals the money, Elijah goes after him into slave country a...more
Amanda Behrends
Summary - Elijah of Buxton tells the story of Elijah, the first free-born child born in the settlement of former slaves in Buxton Canada. The story details the experiences Elijah has as he comes of age in the settlement and learns about the lives of his parents and the other former slaves in the settlement.
Curriculum Connection - I would use this book in connection with United States Studies until 1865, particularly SOL USI.8 and USI.9 to help the students better understand and connect with the...more
Bob Redmond
Curtis, in Newberry-Award winning style, tells the story of a young boy growing up in the (historically real) all-black community of Buxton, Ontario, Canada, in 1859. The book is completely absorbing, and one forgets immediately that this is a book for young adults or grade schoolers. Curtis writes with such a clarity of purpose and faithfulness to his story that there's no question of whether the book is merely edifying.

Elijah, the first boy born in the community, is 11 when this story begins....more
Okay, I'm sold. It took me months to finally getting around to reading this one, and that's too bad, because I could have been recommending it all this time. It's fantastic.

Elijah Freeman was the first child born free in the Buxton settlement of Canada. His life is made up of family, school, chores, and fishing, and although he has heard stories about life in captivity from the former slaves around him, he leads a very different life. When an unscrupulous, self-proclaimed preacher makes off with...more
Oct 28, 2007 Eugenia marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Booklist review: *Starred Review* After his mother rebukes him for screaming that hoop snakes have invaded Buxton, gullible 11-year-old Elijah confesses to readers that "there ain't nothing in the world she wants more than for me to quit being so doggone fra-gile." Inexperienced and prone to mistakes, yet kind, courageous, and understanding, Elijah has the distinction of being the first child born in the Buxton Settlement, which was founded in Ontario in 1849 as a haven for former slaves. Narrat...more
Apr 07, 2008 Jodysegal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Grades 4 and Up
Elijah is the first freeborn child in Buxton, Canada, a small community just across the border from Michigan which was settled by escaped and freed slaves from the United States. To eleven year old Elijah, whose story this is, that means bragging rights over Emma, the second freeborn child. But over the course of this powerful and very moving story, freedom comes to mean something entirely different to Elijah.

Kirkus: "Readers, young and old, will finish and say, 'This is one of the best books I...more
Mar 15, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
***children's book--This is a fantastic book and a surprise sobbing end. I cried my eyes out.

It is a historical fictional novel taking place in about 1860 during slaving times. It's about a Canadian settlement of slaves that made it to freedom. It really opened my eyes to the tragedy of the cause. It is graphic at the end of the book, and has a startling, but uplifting ending. It leaves you with the message there can always be something better--if not for you, then your children.

The main charact...more
"Elijah of Buxton" covers such a criminally neglected moment in American history--the years following emancipation. I think most public schools treat Emancipation as a clean business, a final triumph over slavery that allowed African-Americans finally to enter into white society. It wasn't so, of course, and "Elijah of Buxton" offers a poignant account of those difficult years. Elijah's voice reminds me of some of Faulkner's stronger characters: colorful, unique, and intensely introspective. And...more
Loved it! The setting of this sweet, hope-filled story is the three-mile by six-mile plot of land purchased in southern Ontario to be the home of freed and escaped African-American slaves. It was a refuge where they could truly experience freedom. The story is told in the point of view of an almost 12-year-old boy who was the first free child born in Buxton. He has always lived in this beautiful, peaceful settlement and has never known the horrors his parents and elders experienced as slaves. Be...more
Elijah is the first child born into freedom in the Freeslave colony of Buxton in Canada. The downhome storytelling style sounds to me a bit too hokey like "The Education of Little Tree" with echoes of Twain, but the setting and perspective in "Elijah" make it an important counterpoint to the likes of "Huckleberry Finn." The free slave colony is an inspiring historical setting and broadens our intellecutal and emotional understanding of the impact of slavery. I personally didn't enjoy the corny h...more
This book was a slow read, it wasn't really that interesting but I do have to admit that in the ending it actually started to not be so much of a waste of time. I didn't really like how it ended though, not really answering any of our questions.
 (NS) Maria

This story is about a boy name Elijah who is eleven years old who lives in Buxton, Canada. He is the first child to be born free and be famous for it. Many people think he is "afraid" of snakes and talks a lot. Things begin to change for Elijah when a former slave steals money from his friend. He begins to take a journey to catch the person and things begin to happen!

I didn't enjoy hearing this story. After listening to this story in the car, I got very tired. Lot's of slang and hard to underst...more
528_Mary F.
Author Christopher Paul Curtis writes about 11 year old Elijah Buxton. He lives in a settlement of runaway slaves near Detroit and once threw up on Fredrick Douglas as a baby. A former slave steal money from his friend who has been saving it to buy his family out. Elijah discovers what his parents have escaped and knows he will always be free. Now he just has to get back home.

This author also wrote Bud, Not Buddy and other titles.

Author website:

ELIJAH OF BUXTON is Christopher Paul Curtis at his best. It startS out funny, especially appealing to children: the barfing, the pranks, the prissy girls. Then before I knew it, my heart was racing, my eyes were tearing, my breathing was shallow. I was completely caught up in the story. Curtis does a great job of character development. We watch as Elijah develop from a "fragile" boy who cries at the slightest provocation to sensitive boy that has the courage to embark upon a dangerous mission. I...more
Al_jessica Eaton
This historical fiction novel tells the story of a young boy named Elijah who was the first free child born in the Buxton settlement in Canada.It is a settlement developed by runaway slaves that rallies together to help out when new runaways arrive and even has a "Liberty Bell" that is rung to welcome new arrivals. I felt that the story itself was a little boring and slow moving but it does have unique ending that is full of surprises. Even though I didn't like the plot that much that historical...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...
Bud, Not Buddy The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 The Mighty Miss Malone Bucking the Sarge Mr. Chickee's Funny Money

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