Bud, Not Buddy – Christopher Paul Curtis Anyone who knows me at all, knows that this is one of my all time favourite books. I love Bud’s positivity, his energy and his curiosity. This story is set in 1936 Flint, Michigan, USA, during the Great Depression. Bud’s Mama died when he was 6 years old. He spent some years in foster homes, but at the beginning of this book is sent to live with the Amos family. Toddy Amos and Bud fight, in a surprisingly hilarious chapter, which leads to one of my favourite moments in the book – when Bud is certain he has encountered a vampire bat…you REALLY have to read the book. Bud runs away, determined to find his father. He has only a few little clues that his mother left him – some rocks with strange numbers on them, and a flyer with Jazz musicians on it. Bud is certain his father is the great Herman E Calloway. This might seem a big logical jump, but as Bud explains it, “The little idea had gone and sneaked itself into being a mighty maple tree tall enough that if I looked at the top of it I would get a crick in my neck, big enough for me to hang a climbing rope in, strong enough that I made up my mind to walk clean across the state of Michigan.” (Chapter 9). The cast of characters Bud meets on his way to find his father are entertaining and thought provoking. This book won the 2000 Newbery Medal, and Christopher Paul Curtis won the 2000 Coretta Scott King Award.
Christopher Paul Curtis Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan on May 10, 1953 to Dr. Herman Elmer Curtis, a chiropodist, and Leslie Jane Curtis, an educator. The city of Flint plays an important role in many of Curtis’s books. One such example is Bucking the Sarge, which is about a fifteen year old boy named Luther T. Ferrel, who is in a running battle with his slum-lord mother. Curtis is an alumnus of the University of Michigan-Flint.
Christopher modeled characters in Bud, Not Buddy after his two grandfathers—Earl “Lefty” Lewis, a Negro league baseball pitcher, and 1930s bandleader Herman E. Curtis, Sr., of Herman Curtis and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression.
Curtis moved to Detroit, Michigan in January, 2009.