Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Curtis, Christopher Paul
New York : Delacorte Press, 1999
IL 5-8  RL 5.6
ISBN 0385323069

(7 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

For a prop I would find an old beat up suitcase and inside I would place a made up flyer  announcing the limited engagement  of "Herman E. Calloway and the Dusky Devastors of the  Depression!!!!  I'd follow with question similar to these. If you were an orphan what worldly  possessions would mean the most to you? If you your father was alive would you try to go find him? If you were treated terrible in a foster home would you run away? Does anyone know what the depression time period was like? Would you take a ride with a complete stranger? Bud meets Lefty Lewis on his way to find his father and can't decide if he is a vampire or not.  I would then read to the students a short portion about this scene starting on page 108. Lefty Lewis eventually gets Bud to Grand Rapids and they find Herman E. Calloway.  Will he be welcomed by Herman E. Calloway? Is he his father?  You will have to read "Bud, not Buddy" to find out about all of Buds funny escapades and if he finds his dream.  (Karen Womack, graduate student, <> )

Booktalk #2

In the heart of the depression Bud, not Buddy, Caldwell, an orphan who has decided that he has been in one too many foster homes, seeks his father.   His mother left him a few souvenir flyers, which he takes as proof that Herman E. Calloway, a bandleader from Flint, Michigan, mentioned in the flyers, must be his real father. In spite of the obstacles thrown in his way, Bud manages to cope well in an adult world with his "Bud Caldwell 's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself."  Bud's search has several twists and coincidences that will keep you wondering and laughing.  (Jeannie Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards)

Booktalk #3

Set during the Depression, Bud finds himself alone but determined to find a family, which is so precious during this time.  He leads his life by following rules to "have a funner life and make a better liar of yourself," which helps him deal with emotional and physical obstructions and terrors along the road to Grand Rapids.  The first person viewpoint takes the reader into the story of the late 1920's by using regional dialect, a child's perspective and history.  At many times humorous, the loss and joy of losing and finding family makes this book surprisingly emotional. ("Naomi Bates" <>)

Booktalk #4

First I would show illustrations depicting hard life during the Great Depression and Dustbowl era good book for this would be biography of Dorthea Lange) and give a brief history of  Hoovervilles and what caused people to move around so much.  I would ask students why did people abandon their children during this time?  After discussing this, I would then ask why family relationships during this time were so essential.  Then an introduction to this book would occur, in which I explain how a runaway orphan sets out to search for his family, which ends in an unexpected way. ("Naomi Bates" <>)

Booktalk #5

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be all alone in the world? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find your mother dead and everything you knew about the man who you think is your father is printed on a blue piece of paper?  What would it feel like to be an orphan living out of a suitcase that contained all of your worldly possessions?  Meet Bud, Not Buddy as he ventures out on a journey to find his father.  (Brenda Boyd,, School of Library and Information Science, University of SC, Columbia, SC

Booktalk #6

"Hi my name is Bud, not Buddy," is the way ten-year old Bud Caldwell introduces himself. His mother named him Bud and now that she is dead he isn't going to let anyone call him otherwise. Tired of living in foster homes Bud sets out to find his father, Herman E. Calloway of the famous Herman E. Calloway and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression band. Unsure of exactly where to find his father, Bud relies on a few old flyers, the Bud Caldwell Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself, and self determination to make his way from Flint, Michigan to Grand Rapids. Along the way Bud confronts his own fears including a car driven by a vampire...Once he arrives in Grand Rapids, Michigan Bud finds the man he thinks is his father or is he...? (Alicia Byrd,  Portland, Oregon)

Booktalk #7

A ten year old boy named Bud was living in Flint, Michigan during the great depression when he decides to go on an adventure to find the man who he believes to be his father.  He is encouraged to find his father after his mother's death, because he is placed with a family who treats him terribly.  He runs away to Gran Rapids where he believes that his father, Herman E. Calloway resides.  On the trip to Grand Rapids, Bud is picked up by a man who knows Herman E. Calloway and takes Bud on a little adventure, then eventually to Herman's House.  Does this man really know Herman? If so, will Herman claim Bud as his son or send him back out onto the streets? What will Herman be like? Read this historical fiction book Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis to find out what happens to Bud and to read the funny and intriguing list of 'Rules and Things for Having a Funnier Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself' written by Bud. (Colleen Biebel,, college student)

SUBJECTS:     Runaways -- Fiction
                        African Americans -- Fiction
                        Depressions, 1929 -- Fiction


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