Bud not BuddyWe’re nearing the end of the February Black History month celebration, so I’d like to highlight one of my favorite books that features an incredible glimpse into life for African Americans during the great depression. The story is by Christopher Pual Curtis: Bud, Not Buddy.

This story is written for a younger audience, but is a great read for just about anyone. It’s a two-time award winner, receiving the 2000 Newbery Medal and the 2000 Coretta Scott King Award. Ten year old Bud is the main character in the story. The most important person in his life, his mother has died, and he has been living in the Home (an orphanage) since he was 6 years old. After some bad experiences in the orphanage and in his last foster home, Bud decides he’ll strike out on his own to find his father.

Bud believes he knows who and where his father is and tries to find him in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but his only clues to finding his dad are memories from his mother, a bag of rocks and fliers he thinks are from his father’s band. As Bud travels looking for his dad, he meets different people, has adventures and lets his rules for living guide him. Everywhere he goes, he takes his suitcase which contains not only secrets of the past, but also hold clues for his future. Set in the Depression era, the story is upbeat rather than sad. Bud’s cheerful attitude and his determination keep him going through all of his adventures.

I loved Bud! He’s funny, fierce and completely lovable. Even if you don’t think historical fiction is your “cup of tea,” you’ll probably love Bud Not Buddy. I enjoyed every minute of this book. Especially funny are Bud’s rules for living. Check them out!

You can find Bud Not Buddy at your library! Check for availability and to place requests online at the El Paso Public Library catalog. You can also check availability on the Community College Catalog.