Free Study Guide - Bud, Not Buddy - Free BookNotes / Analysis|
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A young boy named Bud (not Buddy!) Caldwell, who has been an orphan since he was six, runs away after being abused in a foster home. He sets out to find his father, a man named Herman E. Calloway, a bandleader in Michigan during the Depression. He has many adventures along the way and learns many lessons he can take with him in his life.
When God closes one door, he always opens another
The first and most important theme is when God closes one door, he always opens another. Bud learns this every time something eventful happens in his life and is followed by another path that leads him to what seems to be his destiny.
Fate or Destiny
Another theme involves the idea of fate or destiny. All the way through the story events occur that keep Bud walking a continual path to Herman Calloway. For example, instead of being to ride the rails with Bugs, he can’t run fast enough to jump on a boxcar. This turns out to be good, because Mr. Calloway is in Grand Rapids not Chicago.
People Helping People
A third theme involves the idea of people helping people. In spite of abusive people like the Amoses, there are many examples in the story of people banding together to help each other survive the Depression. It leaves the reader with a sense of hope for what Bud called “human beans.”
The Impact of Segregation
A final theme is more subtle, but nonetheless important: the impact of segregation. Blacks like Bud were treated as second-class citizens during this time period. They couldn’t own land or enter into contracts and the Depression was even harder on them. However, out of this comes the sense that many African-Americans became stronger for it.
The mood is at times troubling and even dark, but for the most part is continuously hopeful and uplifting. This is the result of a young boy like Bud who won’t allow society, adults, or even kids his own age to hold him back from achieving his goal.
Christopher Paul Curtis is the author of The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, one of the most highly acclaimed first novels for young readers in recent years. It was singled out for many awards, among them a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor, and has been a best seller in hardcover and paperback.
Christopher Paul Curtis was born May 10, 1953. He grew up in Flint, Michigan. After high school, he began working on the automobile assembly line at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 while attending the Flint branch of the University of Michigan. Today he is a full-time writer.
He and his wife, Kay, have two children, Steven and Cydney. The Curtis family lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Newbery Medal Winner, 2000
The Coretta Scott King Award For Narrative
International Reading Association Children's Book Award
William Allen White Children's Book Award
NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal
Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly
Notable Book of the Year by New York Times
Winner of a Golden Kite Honor Plaque for Fiction
Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List
A Parent's Choice Story Book Award
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award
Tennessee Volunteer State Award 2001-2002
Virginia Capitol Choices Award
Hawaii Master Reading List Award
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Bud, Not Buddy".
. 11 May 2008