Meredith Trotter's Reviews > Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
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's review
Jul 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: newbery
Read in December, 2011

Publication: 1999

Grade/Age: Grades 4-7

Annotation: Bud, Not Buddy tells the story of Bud Caldwell, a ten year old orphan who lives in Flint, Michigan during the Great Depression. He decides to go on the run to look for his father. The only clue that he has of his father’s identity is a flyer advertising Herman E. Calloway and his band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!! This flyer had belonged to Bud’s mother, who died when he was six years old. On his journey to find his father, Bud encounters some interesting characters. In the end, Bud discovers where he truly belongs.

Themes: The Great Depression, family and relationships, Jazz, survival, hope, rascism, orphans and runaways, labor unions

Ways to use the book:

Language Arts/Social Studies
• The Great Depression
• Notorious figures: Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson
• Family: Homelessness, extended family, foster care, adoption
• Map skills: Find Flint and Grand Rapids, Michigan on a map

• Compare prices now and then
• Discuss labor unions and labor laws
• Discuss the forms of communication during the depression

• Calculate the distances between the two areas using an Atlas of Standard Highway Mileage Guide

Music: The impact/significance of Jazz music during the Great Depression.

Art: Design a new flier introducing Bud into Callaway’s band.

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