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Bud, Not Buddy

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D'Ann Gibson

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy
Book Synopsis
In Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis uses the journey of a young boy in search of his father to reveal ways of life and culture during the Great Depression. The book is about a young boy, Bud, who first lived in Flint, Michigan. After the death of his mother, he was put in a home and lived with foster families. When being taken into the home of the Amos family, Bud has a terrible experience as the Amos’ son beats him up. After getting in trouble for defending himself against the son, Bud is taken out to the shed to sleep and escapes. He then decides that his best and most desirable option is to find his father, a man who was on several band flyers that Bud’s mother always used to look at before her passing. Who he thought was his father, Herman E. Calloway, serves as a band member in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bud finds a ride to Grand Rapids, Michigan and does not get the greeting from Herman that he was hoping for. Bud eventually finds that he is Herman’s grandson an his mother was Herman's daughter. By the end of the book, Bud and Hermn are beginning to form a healthy relationship with one another.

This book is appropriate for a 5th grade level because it’s lexile measure is 950L, a grade level equivalent to 5.2. It has themes such as hope, segregation, the opening of new “doors,” finding one’s place, and fate and destiny that many students at the fifth grade level can relate to. Furthermore, the author uses these themes to paint the picture of an incredibly impacting time in history, the Great Depression. From a student’s perspective, the students see the life of a young boy who is striving to feel accepted. They can relate to the boy as they think of what is would be like to be completely on their own, without the love and support of a mother, father, siblings, or grandparents. The book is also inspirational through the perspective of a student as it exudes a boy who never gives up hope. Through a teacher's perspective, one might see how the book has great historical significance and how students can relate to the impacts of the Great Depression on everyday lives and how racial segregation hindered many people’s lives as well.

In addition, Bud Not Buddy addresses part of the ten thematic stands of Social Studies including Individual Development and Identity; People, Places, and Environment; Time, Continuity and Change; and Civil Ideas and Practices. The book also addresses some of the Oklahoma C3 Social Studies Standards. It correlates with the Process and Literacy Skills Standard 1: The student will develop and demonstrate Common Core informational text reading literacy skills. Students will determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details. They will also learn to explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in United States history primary and/or secondary sources based on specific information in the texts. The book also applies the integration of knowledge and ideas. Students will also be exposed to standards reflecting the early impacts and beginnings of slavery and segregation: Content Standard 5: The student will analyze the social and political transformation of the United States as a result of the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War during the period of 1850 to 1865. (Teacher will address before reading begins) Through dealing with geography in Bud's travel students will be exposed to: Content Standard 1: The student will analyze data from a geographic perspective using the skills and tools of geography (6th). Furthermore, multiple C3 standards from various grades can be incorporated when studying all that Bud, Not Buddy encompasses.

There are also many Social Studies lessons and activities that could be done using this book. For example, students can compare and contrast life in the 1930s to life today by addressing how transportation, food, family life, segregation, etc. differ. Have students do this project individually or in groups. Students who are interested in music could take part in a lesson in which they study and learn about songs of the Depression and how much of an impact music and entertainment had on society during this time. Have students visit sites such as Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, All about Jazz, and Songs from the 20’s and 30’s. This book could also easily be integrated with other content areas. For example, math could be incorporated in finding distances between Bud’s travels from Flint to Grand Rapids. The book intertwines Social Studies and Language Arts as it reveals ways of life during the time of the Great Depression and exudes elements such as plot, setting, characters, vocabulary, etc. Art can also be incorporated by having students create a flier for Bud's own band that he starts after he leans to play his instrument.

Primary Source Materials
One Door Closes, Another Door Opens
Bud continuously learns that whenever something bad happens, there is always another opportunity awaiting.

“No matter how bad things look to you, no matter how dark the night, when the door closes, don’t worry, because another door opens.”
During this time period, people of color were treated unequally. The Depression was incredibly hard on them as their rights were much more oppressed than that of their white counterparts.
Bud, Not Buddy embodies a constant theme of hope as the characters continuously help one another through times of the Depression. No matter who or what tries to hold him back, Bud lets no hindrance on society or his life keep him from reaching his goal of finding his father.
Events continuously happen throughout the novel to lead Bud to believe that it is fate that he is continuously led to and reminded that Herman E. Calloway is his father.
Finding One's Place
Throughout the book, Bud strives to find his father. He longs for identity and is a child who wants to find his place in the world rather than living in homes and with foster families. By finally going on the adventure in finding his father, he eventually finds his true home.
Significant Quotes
“A bud is a flower-to-be. A flower in waiting. Waiting for just the right warmth and care to open up. It's a little fist of love waiting to unfold and be seen by the world. And that's you.”
“There comes a time when you're losing a fight that it just doesn't make sense to keep on fighting. It's not that you're being a quitter, it's just that you've got the sense to know when enough is enough.”
"He sits down shoulder to shoulder with Jerry while they wait to be summoned to their new homes. Buddy thinks, “Here we go again."
“It was like something was telling me there was a message for me on this flyer but I didn’t have the decoder ring to read what it was.”
“Just like there’s a time that a smart person knows enough is enough, there’s a time when you know you’ve got to fight.”
“No matter how bad things look to you, no matter how dark the night, when the door closes, don’t worry, because another door opens.”
"I guess you're sort of different, you sort of carry your family around inside of you don't you Bud?"
“All of a sudden, I knew that all of the places in the world that I’d ever been in this was the one. That of all the people I’d ever met these were the ones. This was where I was supposed to be.”
“Go ahead and cry, Bud, You’re home.”
“I’d finally put her somewhere where she wanted to be, back in her own bedroom, back amongst all her horses.”
“Deza Malone was right, I was carrying Momma inside me and there wasn’t anyone or anything that could take her away from that or add to it either.”
“I could tell those were the squeaks and squawks of one door closing and another one opening.”
Reflective Narrative
This book connects with my own personal interests and with people that I know as well. This book relates to my own personal interests because the history of our country intrigues me. I love making connections from the past to the present. This book was wonderful in the sense that it brought the reader deep into the plot and history of the book through the character of a young, ten year old child. Furthermore, these types of books are great for grabbing young readers' attention, while also providing historical information such as details about the Great Depression. In addition, my family means the world to me, so the finding of Bud's family and the fact that he finally found his place of belonging really hit home for me. I have my own personal experiences of when I wanted to lose hope, but just as Bud did, I was encouraged by little "signs" to keep moving on when it didn't always seem worth it at the time. Students can definitely relate to this theme of the book as well!
Significant Parts of Bud, Not Buddy
Historical Figures
Significant Events
1. Bud's mother passes away when he is six years old.
2. Bud has to leave "The Home"
3. Bud gets a ride to Grand Rapids and makes it to The Calloway Station.
4. Bud is welcomed to stay
5. Bud finds out that Herman is his grandfather, not his father.

Segregation and the Great Depression
- Depression
-Ku Klux Klan
-John Dillinger
-Pretty Boy Floyd
-Baby Face Nelson
-J. Edgar Hoover
Cross-Cultural and Global Connections
The Dusky Devastators of the Depression Band (www.grandrapids.org)
"Lefty" Lewis also known as the pitcher for the Grand Rapids Michigan, Elsterites, taken May 30, 1918 (retrieved from Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis)
Rapids Public Library lining up for food during the Great Depression, a time when food was scarce for many. (http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/06/west_michigan_residents_who_li.html)
Impacting Times
Historical Accuracy
Bud and his friend, Bugs, were directed to Hooverville to begin the course of their journey in finding Bud-Not-Buddy's father. In the book, along with during the actual historical time period of the Great Depression, Hoovervilles served as places to live for the homeless. People often resided there as they caught trains to find work in different areas. Hoover was the president during this time period and these shanty towns were named after him because he was largely blamed for the spiraling well-being of our nation during The Depression. Christopher Paul Curtis depicts this aspect of our history accurately as he describes Hooverville in Flint, Michigan with "community" fires, provided but scarce food, and homes made of cardboard boxes, wood, and random gathered material. [http://depts.washington.edu/depress/hooverville.shtml]

In addition to aspects of Hoovervilles, I also wanted to check the historical accuracy of Jazz music during The Great Depression and discovered that this was also addressed appropriately in Bud, Not Buddy. As quoted in the book, "Entertainment was an important part of life during the depression, for people who wanted to forget their troubles by going to the movies, sitting around the radio, and listening and dancing to live music." Through further research, I found these conclusions to be solidified as people longed to find some fun and enjoyment during a time in which our country and society was facing increasing amounts of hardship and heartache. Jazz music was one of the simple ways of escaping the harsh ways of reality by getting lost in the beauty of music. Through revealing the lives of members of The Dusky Devastators of the Depression, Christopher Paul Curtis gives a great picture to the reader about musical life during the Great Depression. [http://journeythroughthegreatdepression.blogspot.com/2012/07/herman-e-calloway-and-dusky-devastators.html]

As far as perspectives in the book go, the main perspective given is that of a young, African American boy during a time of segregation, along with the Great Depression. The point of view of his white counterparts isn't addressed or revealed much at all.
Timeline of Bud Caldwell's life
1929-Stock market crashes
Bud Caldwell is born
Bud's mother dies when he is six years old.
Bud is sent to live with the Amos family.
Bud escapes Amos family and runs into his old friend Bugs at the library.
Bud misses train and decides he is going to have to walk to Grand Rapids, Michigan
Bud meets Lefty Lewis, a kind stranger who gives Bud food and gives Bud a ride to Grand Rapids to find his "father."
Bud learns the devastating, shocking truth that Herman isn't his father.
Bud is taken in by the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!
Bud find's out that Herman is his grandfather and cared about his mother deeply.
Bud and Herman start a normal, healthy, loving relationship and Bud's life of belonging begins.
The Great Depression was an economic heartache for humanity across the world. Lasting from about the 1930s to the 1940s, its effects on the lives of a plethora of societies ran deep. The crash of the stock market, also known as Black Tuesday, caused international trade to plummet. Therefore, unemployment numbers rose at increasingly fast rates. Countries that were heavy on industry experienced definite downfalls that hindered small details of every day life for those both rich and poor. During this time, segregation between races was also evident. Therefore, this book connects to the ideas of human and civil rights as well.

"Easy-go don't make the mare run. This is a hard world, especially for a Negro woman, there's a hundred million folks out there of every shade and hue, both male and female, who are just dying to be harder on her than I ever could be. She's got to be ready." -Herman E. Calloway
Christopher Paul Curtis
Top Left: This image is a map of the shanty towns in Hooverville during the start of the Great Depression.

Top Right: This is a photo of a "Hooverville" on the outskirts of a city.

Bottom : This photo highlights the ways in which people used to jump on the trains for transportation when leaving shanty towns to find hope in their search for making money to provide for themselves and their families.
These newspapers all reflect the sheer panic and horror during the times of the Great Depression. Society longed for any kind of relief from the tragic time.
The photo to the left champions the love of music and entertainment during this devastating time as this source portrays a jazz band member playing his trumpet.
“Go ahead and cry, Bud, You’re home.”
"Mr. C has always got a white fella in the band, for practical reasons. But we don't hold his skin color against him, he can't help that he was born that way....It's the way of the world, Sleepy. It's against the law for a Negro to own any property out where the Log Cabin is so Mr. C put it in my name."
Curtis, C. (1999). Bud, not Buddy. New York: Random House Children's Books.
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