BIG News! Before I get into the review of Bud, Not Buddy, I'd like to share that my family of two is now a family of three! So if you were wondering where the reviews have been... well, I was a little busy last week! We're all healthy and happy and back home, and now I have a new reading buddy!
Bud, Not Buddy was excellent! Definitely worthy of it's Newbery Award. My niece and nephew were assigned it in school, and both of them plus their mom (my sister-in-law) loved it and recommended it. I checked it out of the library... and then my dog ate it. Well, he ate a corner of it. It was still pretty much readable, so after I paid the library for the damaged book I still read it. :)
Bud is the greatest kid! He's smart and optimistic and persistent. He's only 10 years old, but he manages to make his way across Michigan during the height of the Depression all on his own, in search of his father. His mother passed away, but she left him flyers advertising the Herman E. Calloway band, and Bud just knows that's his dad. Bud has many "adventures" on his journey across state, but always keeps a cool head and a steady heart. Many times I found myself forgetting that he's only 10! Bud is mature enough that he could easily be a teen. If you're anything like me, you'll definitely find yourself cheering for Bud.
Throughout the book, you're looking at the world through a 10 year old boy's eyes, so there's also some humor. Sprinkled throughout the book are some of Bud's "Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself." These "rules" help him survive on the road, and are a sort of lighter-hearted way of looking at adult society through a kid's eyes. Another thing that I, a library employee, found humorous was Bud's interactions with the local librarians. First, I love that he would go to the library when he needed information. Right on, Bud! Below I've included some passages from library scenes.
Overall, a quick fun read about a young man who's definitely going places. You'll have to read the book to find out if Herman E. Calloway is really his dad!
*I own (kinda) my copy of Bud, Not Buddy. I would've simply checked it out of my local library, but my dog tried to eat it and I had to purchase it. Silly dog.
“As soon as I got into the library I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I got a whiff of the leather on all the old books, a smell that got real strong strong if you picked one of them up and stuck your nose real close to it when you turned the pages. Then there was the smell of the cloth that covered the brand-new books, the books that made a splitting sound when you opened them. Then I could sniff the paper, that soft, powdery, drowsy smell that comes off the pages in little puffs when you’re reading something or looking at some pictures, a kind of hypnotizing smell.
I think it’s that smell that makes so many folks fall asleep in the library. You’ll see someone turn a page and you can imagine a puff of page powder coming up really slow and easy until it starts piling on the person’s eyelashes, weighing their eyes down so much that they stay down a little longer after each blink and finally making them so heavy that they just don’t come back up at all. Then their mouths come open and their heads start bouncing up and down like they’re bobbing in a big tub of water for apples and before you know it,... woop, zoop, sloop… they’re out cold and their face thunks down smack-dab on the book.
That’s the part that gets the librarians the maddest, they get real upset if folks start drooling in the books and, page powder or not, they don’t want to hear no excuses, you gotta get out. Drooling in the books is even worse than laughing out loud in the library, and even though it might seem kind of mean, you can’t really blame the librarians for tossing drooly folks out ‘cause there’s nothing worse than opening a book and having the pages all stuck together from somebody’s dried-up slobber.”
“She pulled a third book out.
Shucks, this is one of the bad things about talking to librarians, I asked one question and already she had us digging through through three different books.”
“There’s another thing that’s strange about the library, it seems like time flies when you’re in one. One second I was opening the first page of the book, hearing the cracking sound the pages make, smelling all the page powder, and reading what battle the picture on that page was from, and the next second the librarian was standing over me saying, “I am very impressed, you really devoured that book, didn’t you? But it’s time to close now, you may start up again first thing tomorrow!””