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Bud, Not Buddy
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Bud, Not Buddy

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  96,566 ratings  ·  5,172 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:

He has his own suitcase full of special things.

He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.

His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clu
...more
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published September 7th 1999 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1999)
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Vida Wilson Hi Nancy, I read this book in 4th grade, I was 9 and am now 23. Honestly, this is one of the best books I've ever read, truly a lovely story. Any chil…moreHi Nancy, I read this book in 4th grade, I was 9 and am now 23. Honestly, this is one of the best books I've ever read, truly a lovely story. Any child that is struggling with a difficult home life will be able to identify with the journey that this little boy takes. It's all about perseverance and survival in a world that is seemingly against him. Would definitely recommend it.(less)
Jodi
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  96,566 ratings  ·  5,172 reviews


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Mrs. Posmer
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I will never look at a 'ticonderoga' pencil the same again!
Teresa
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5

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,
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Julie
I took a class on "archetypes" several years ago (this is where I learned to love Joseph Campbell). The class began with the teacher reading us a story aloud. At the end of the story, she asked us to write down which one of the 5 characters in the story represented us best. I wrote down “the prince.”

When the teacher came over to collect my paper, she read what I had written and chuckled. She said something like, “Women almost never write down 'the prince.' It's unusual.”

Why unusual? Don't most p
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Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 stars

I think Curtis's voice was spectacular, but the plot fell a little bit flat for me. I laughed out loud at all the parts when Bud described librarians, and enjoyed all of his antics. Listening to the audiobook was a lot of fun, but overall I felt a bit lost for the majority of the book on where it was going. Great characters and a great job describing the time it takes place, but overall it wasn't a huge win for me.


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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 fa
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Jessica
I have been meaning to read this for years, in my quest to read all the Newbery books, but I haven't super been in the mood for it until now. When I kind of had to be in the mood for it, because my daughter brought it home to read for Battle of the Books, and then the schools shut down and here we were with a copy! And then the school scheduled us to bring back any books or school materials this week, and I thought, Welp, if not now, when?

I was pleasantly surprised: one of the reasons I've put
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Karina
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
What does an adult do when a nine-year-old boy that hates reading recommends this book to you? YOU READ IT!!! And so glad I did! Took me a few hours and I enjoyed every chapter.

"When I'd jerked up in my bed and opened my eyes Todd was standing next to me with a yellow pencil in his hand. He was looking at it like it was a thermometer and said 'Wow! You got all the way up to R!'

He turned the pencil toward me, crunched up against the headboard. I saw TICONDEROGA printed on the yellow wood." (PAG
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Short  Reviews
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
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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
...more
Ash R.
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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Rebecca
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
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Amanda
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Wendy
Sep 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
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
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Jenna | JennaStopReading
This was a reread of a childhood favorite! I enjoyed this story and can't wait to read it with my kids someday.
Lstirl
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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Jill
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 10+
Shelves: newbery-medal
I have to say, for one of the newer Newbery winners I wasn't particularly impressed. It's funny, Mandy told me she thought it started off slow and became a little more interesting toward the end. I had the opposite experience--after the first few chapters I thought the story had great potential. I had high hopes, but for me the writing started to drag in the middle and fizzled out toward the end. I thought the author could have done more to resolve the relationship between Bud and Herman.

"Most
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Kristen
Nov 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Jacquelyn
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 har
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David Sof 2014
Mar 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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Aj Sterkel
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
The audiobook has an interview with the author at the end where he talks about his family and how they gave him the idea for Bud, Not Buddy. The interview is interesting, so don’t turn off the audiobook until you reach the end!

This was a reread for me. I read for the first time when I was in middle school. I remember finding it both scary and hilarious. Even after all these years, I vividly remember Bud’s foster parents locking him in a shed with a “vampire.” I’ve read a few of Christopher Paul
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Kameron
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book. Bud is a kid that ran away from his foster home and lived off the streets. He soon thinks that a famous band member from the band The Dusky Devastators of the Depression. He then finds out that it was his moms room he was sleeping in.
Yusra  ✨
don’t have a lot of recollection about this book, other than it was full of jazz music and a boy finding his dad :)
Heather McC
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Young, opportunistic Bud learns that when one door closes another one opens as he ventures on his quest to find his family and keep his mother's memory alive.

I listened to the audiobook of this story, read by the one and only James Avery (you may know him as Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel Air). Another bonus of the audiobook (besides the jazzy music) is that author Christopher Paul Curtis provides background on his family (the inspiration for the book), and one of the songs featured in the
...more
Charity
Feb 16, 2012 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
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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
...more
(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
Paul
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
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!
Beth
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.
Karen
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Finding a book about the jazz era. [s] 4 33 Apr 11, 2020 06:53PM  
Historical Fiction 1 4 Oct 02, 2019 11:44AM  
September Book Review 1 3 Sep 14, 2019 05:53AM  
UCAS English 11 R...: February Book Review 2 7 Feb 28, 2019 08:57PM  

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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

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