After his mother died, Bud Caldwell was sent to lived in an orphanage. He was not too happy when at the age of ten he was forced to live with a foster family. They treated him poorly and forced him to spend the night in a shed in their backyard. He escaped and began roaming the streets alone. All he had was his suitcase filled with mysterious things relating to his mother, and his list of, “Bud Caldwell’s Rules to have a Funner Life and Make a Better Liar of Yourself.”
Realizing he can’t make it on his own, he decides to find something that has been missing his whole life. Flyers in his suitcase shape his journey to Herman E. Calloway, who he believes to be his dad. His adventure from Flint, Michigan to Grand Rapids requires the use of his set of rules and the mysterious objects in his suitcase.
He has help along the way by a few good Samaritans. Another homeless family pretends that he is with them so that Bud can get a meal from the local soup kitchen. Another man finds Bud along the road one night and takes him in to get a good night’s sleep and a filling meal at his family’s home before taking Bud to his destination. Once there, Bud finds out that Herman E. Calloway may not be who Bud thinks he is.
Bud, Not Buddy takes place in the great depression. No jobs are available, especially not for an African American kid like himself. Not many people are willing to open their doors for Bud, not many will offer him food or money. It is a hard time for everyone, especially for Bud.
Christopher Paul Curtis wrote this book in such a way that you are sad when you come to the last page, and are eager to start again. He really makes you feel as though you are right in the middle of the great depression along with Bud. This is a book wonderful for readers of all ages.