Bud, Not Buddy: A Young Boy's Search for Family


Image: Yearling
Image: Yearling

Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis, is a story about a boy named Bud, who lived with his mother in Flint, Michigan, until she died when he was six. He did not know who his father was, so he had to go to an orphanage. Four years later, the 10-year-old gets a foster family, including their 12-year-old son, Todd, who is really mean to him. Bud runs away, getting revenge on Todd and his family. He tries to find Herman E. Calloway, who he thinks is his father. On the way, Lefty Lewis, a courier from Grand Rapids, Michigan, tries to help him. They drive to Grand Rapids and meet Calloway, who turns out to be Bud’s grandfather. Calloway has a band and takes in Bud to be a part of his family.

Calloway is always grumpy, because his daughter ran away and then died when she got older. This affects him because he knows how hard he was on her, and he never got to say goodbye or see her once more. All he wanted was for her to be the first one in his family to go to college. He misses her, which is why he is so grumpy.

I think this story is a mixture of sadness and happiness. The sad part of the story is that Bud is an orphan. He also has to carry his mother inside him because she died. The happy part of the story is that Bud finally finds a family: Calloway and his band. Now he can let go of his mom but also be in her room at her old house.

Evelyn Canal is a fifth-grade student at Sankofa Academy in Oakland, California

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