I am so glad that I read this book aloud to my family. Not only did my kids learn about the Great Depression, but they learned to relate to people with vastly different life circumstances. The story of the courageous, upbeat, hilarious Buddy and his search to find his father is simultaneously heart-warming and entertaining.
Title: Bud, Not Buddy
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Publication Year: 1999
Age Group: Late Elementary, Middle School
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Buddy is a 10 year old orphan in Flint, Michagan that carries around a falling apart suitcase with all his prized possessions. While he has been through many hard times in his life, such as losing his mother, living in the midst of the Great Depression, and being placed in cruel foster care situations, he maintains his positive attitude. He is on a quest to find his father.
Despite difficult life circumstances which we could hardly imagine, Buddy comes across as entirely relatable. My kids laughed along with his responses to certain situations and his take on the rules for life. I really feel this book broadened my kids horizons in a way that would be difficult to accomplish any other way.
My own 10 year old just walked up and saw that I was writing about Bud, Not Buddy and commented, “Yeah, that was a good book.” For a kid that is instantly critical of anything that is not Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, that is high praise indeed.
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