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Book Review: Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not BuddyAuthor: Christopher Paul Curtis
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Ages: 8-12

Bud, Not Buddy is a wonderful choice to read. Winner of many prizes including the Newbery Medal and Corretta Scott King Award, this story is a rare find.

Bud is a ten-year-old boy who is left homeless after the death of his mother. He sets out on a journey to find his father, and along the way, offers readers important lessons in family, determination, and desire. When Bud comes face to face with Herman E. Calloway, the man he's been looking for, Herman refuses to acknowledge that Bud is his son. Luckily, Bud is prepared with a suitcase full of clues to prove that they're related. The surprise comes when the characters (and readers) learn just how the two are connected.

Set in the Great Depression, this book presents readers with a young person's perspective on issues during that time in history. Confronting topics such as racism and relationships, Bud challenges readers to "walk in someone else's shoes," and to think about what their lives might be like under similar circumstances. Kids will especially enjoy accounts from Bud's own book "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself."

This book is accompanied by an afterword by the author that gives readers an interesting look into Curtis' development of his characters. It also gives readers a history lesson, as Curtis reveals his family's account of life during the Great Depression.

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