Illinois students in 3rd-5th grade are going to have a tough choice this year picking the Bluestem award! I just finished another great nominee, Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.
This book follows the adventures of Bud, a 10 year old orphaned boy, living during The Great Depression as he learns about the person his mother was and follows a hunch to try to find the father he never knew. First, the genre (historical fiction), is one of my favorites. While following Bud’s amazing adventure, you learn about what life was like for many during one of America’s most amazing times and how people managed to survive during more difficulty than we can really imagine today. As his adventure comes to an unexpected and surprising ending, you find yourself scanning through pages faster and faster anxious to see Bud find some rest and peace from his troubles.
Bud is one of those characters who you find yourself pulling for as Curtis, through his masterful writing, brings a very funny and brave kid to life. By the end of the book, you feel as though you might meet Bud in the street playing the lead in a real 1920’s jazz ensemble. Bud, not Buddy is a warm, funny, entertaining page turner that paints a picture of an incredible time in American history and the journey of Bud as he meets a host of colorful characters. I give it my highest recommendation! Great, great book!