Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Book Review - Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Funny, informative and a genuinely nice story to boot!

My ten year old niece had read Bud, Not Buddy, recently, at school, and as I’m always interested to know what it is she’s being taught, I decided to pick it up. At first I was discouraged by the book as it seemed to deal with a rather depressing story of a young orphan during the depression era, who was acting out revenge upon a foster family that had mistreated him. While making a mental note to explain to her the errors of vengeful retribution, I continued on and was soon pleasantly surprised by the novel’s turn.

Christopher Paul Curtis has created a beautiful piece of historical fiction that teaches a young reader about some of the issues that were plaguing the American population of the 30s, as well as telling a heartwarming story about a young boys will and determination to find his estranged father. Along the way Curtis is able to share with us the trials and tribulations of racism, homelessness and labour-union disputes, whilst keeping the tone of the book light, with a witty dialogue that often had me chuckling.

Not to say that it was all roses, though, because there is really no way to sugar coat families forced to live in Hooverville tenements at the side of the railroad tracks, especially in a day and age when tent cities are erecting all over North America due to the recent recession and mortgage crisis. The fact of the matter is these struggles were happening in the 30s just as they are happening now. It is important that we can share these realities with our children in such a way that they become interested, and through compassion, help to make changes in our world so that these mistakes won’t happen again in the future.

4.5/5 Snakes


  1. I wanted to stop over to thank you for stopping by my blog! I will get you added to my blog roll and look forward to your future posts!

  2. I like your review. I think I'll check this out. I like witty dialouge in a book. It's why I like Julia Quinn so much.

    BTW, I have a giveaway for SWAY by Zachary Lazar at my blog. It's open until March 25.

  3. I hope that you enjoy it Shoshana, and I would love to know what you thought of it after you have read it.

    I will drop by and enter in for the giveaway, thanks!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think that this book is going to start hitting closer to home with kids as the economy worsens.