Overview Of ‘Bud Not Buddy’ By Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud Not Buddy is set in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The 1930’s were a time of hardship in the United States. Poverty was prevalent and people would wait up to 4 hours to eat. The racism and segregation of blacks was also a major problem. Black Americans were marginalized despite the abolishment of slavery. Black Americans had a hard time getting access to housing, education and many other facilities.

The great depression lasted until the end of 30s, which means that the protagonist had already suffered a good part or better say a BAD part, since his early childhood. Bud Caldwell was ten when his mother died at age six. Bud Caldwell was not like any other ten-year-old. A normal ten-year boy would be thinking about playing with toys, running in the back yard, or whatever else a kid of this age used to do. Bud had a goal in life. He knew exactly what he wanted to achieve at that age.

Bud’s personality is strong, determined, stubborn and imaginative. Bud used to lie to everyone he met, but he had no problem doing it. He was taught by life to never be confident around adults of any color, let alone white ones. He wrote a journal titled? ?Bud Caldwell?s?? Rules for having a better life and making yourself a better liar.

His mother didn’t tell him who his dad was, but he had a clue. She gave him flyers that advertised Herman E. Calloway’s famous band, The Dusky Devastators. Bud thought that these flyers could help him locate his father. He decided to set out on his journey to find him and nothing stopped him. Not hunger, fear, or vampires.

Bud spent the last four-years of his life in an orphanage. It wasn’t easy, but Bud could handle it. At breakfast, one day the manager told Bud and Jerry Thomas that a temporary foster house had been found for them. Bud would go to the Amo?s Family and live with their twelve-year-old son, while Jerry would go to a home with three daughters. Jerry was six years old and was afraid of being the doll of three young girls. Bud had been to foster homes three times in the same year, which means he was more experienced than Jerry. The manager didn’t wait to give them breakfast. He handed each of the two a potful of fruit.

Todd was Todd?s name. Todd is a young violent boy. Todd beat Bud when he first came to live with the Amos. Todd has a problem with violence, as well as temperament issues. Todd couldn’t stand to watch Bud suffer. The scene that I read was horrifying. It hurt me to see how Bud had been kicked without any mercy.

Todd was stopped when Mrs. Amoses entered. Todd was shocked to see Mrs. Amoses begin to act like she was in great pain. He began to yell, and lie that Bud had started fighting him. Bud believed that Mrs. Amoses was fair. However, her ears only listened to what her son said.

He was told by his mother not to allow anyone to use the name Buddy as it wasn’t his real name. So, whenever Bud had to introduce himself, he would always say My name is Bud and not Buddy.

This book is a great read because it tells about Bud, an adopted orphan, and his three adoptive families. The Amos’ family was the third. He speaks a lot of the realities that many orphans are adopted into families with children and treated differently.

Bud’s name means “a flower awaiting to open”. This caught my interest. I liked the story’s message, which suggests that we must continue to move forward despite all the challenges that life throws at us. Even though he decides to stop searching for his father Herman E. Calowar repeatedly.

He learns how to survive by himself. Bud is angry when he finds out in the final scene that Herman Caloway who was supposed to be father to him, actually happens to be his grandfather. A band takes him away to stay with him for some days.

Bud Not Buddy won some awards, and I thought it was a great book. It teaches you to not give up when life is difficult.



Makhi is a 34 yo educational blogger who is passionate about writing and exploring new content ideas. She has a degree in English from the University of Utah and is currently working as a teacher in a public school in Utah. Makhi has been published in numerous online journals and has been featured on national television networks.