The Edmond Sun

Arts & Entertainment

February 4, 2014

2-4 Good Reads

Books

EDMOND — ‘BUD, NOT BUDDY’

BY CHRISTOPHER PAUL CURTIS


Featuring a brand new, redesigned cover, “Bud, Not Buddy” now available in paperback, tells the story of 10-year-old Bud, a motherless boy on the run in Flint, Mich., in 1936. Despite his dire circumstances, Bud has a few things going for him: He has his own suitcase full of special things. He’s the author of “Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.”

His mother never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression. Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him — not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

Originally published in 1999, “Bud, Not Buddy” won both the Coretta Scott King Award and the Newbery Medal, making Christopher Paul Curtis the first American-American man to receive that award.

Ages 9-12.

“THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE’

BY CHRISTOPHER PAUL CURTIS


Now available in paperback, “The Mighty Miss Malone” was first published after fans of “Bud, Not Buddy” clamored for a story about one of the novel’s most beloved characters, Deza Malone.

Set in the Midwest during the Great Depression, Christopher Paul Curtis’s novel focuses on 12-year-old Deza and her family as they struggle to survive during the rough economic times that have been handed to them.

Deza Malone is the smartest girl in her class, and dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher. But the Depression has hit Gary, Ind., hard, and her father has been unable to find any work. Forced to leave the state to search for a job, the Malone family finds themselves on a journey to Michigan, in the hopes of meeting up with Deza’s father and being together again.

Soon, Deza’s brother Jimmy finds profitable work as a singer in the Chicago area, and Deza and her mother are left to keep the Malone family as intact as possible. After all, they don’t call Deza “The Mighty Miss Malone” for nothing.

Curtis’s journey into the world of children’s literature is a fascinating one. After high school, Curtis spent 13 years on the assembly line of the historic Fisher Body plant in Flint, Mich., hanging 80-pound car doors on Buicks 10 hours a day. He attended college at night and wrote during his breaks to escape the monotony of the factory.

His debut novel, “The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963” was discovered in the editorial slush pile, and went on to win the Coretta Scott King Award and be named a Newbery Medal book. In the nearly 20 years since its publication, it has become an essential read for children learning about the civil rights movement.

Ages 9-12.

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