Bud, Not Buddy
Published in 1999, a winner of both a Newberry Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award. I can see why! This story is like a favorite song. Where the melody is catchy, the lyrics are moving, the background instruments get highlighted in all the right places, and it’s easy on the ears. Masterfully it comes together and appears seamless and effortless.
Another historical fiction novel that belies the difficulty of the craft, but gives me inspiration to keep at it nonetheless. This will be one I reread to study how Christopher Paul Curtis did many things, but most significantly voice and characterization. I also need to reread it because I enjoyed it so much that I zipped through it and forgot to pay attention to how the story was crafted.
It is written in the first person, which is a challenge I am not up for. Clearly Mr. Curtis loved Bud, and most likely identified with his main character.
As a teacher, I told the students it helped to make a mental movie of the story to help with visualization and comprehension. This story made it so easy to do that. The details did not beat you over the head, but was just enough so that I could take what the author gave me and incorporate it with my experiences and paint a great picture.
Bud was not a character in a story but a boy so much like many of the boys I have taught. He had a funny sense of humor, a couple eccentricities that made him who he was, and very deep hurts that he dealt with so quietly. Truly well done. And one that I am glad was written