Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

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Chapter 1

Bud Caldwell is an orphaned 10-year old who lives in various foster homes. Right now, he lives in the orphanage, being ‘in-between’ homes. While standing in line for breakfast, he hears a caseworker coming. Bud and Jerry, a six-year-old have new foster homes. Unfortunately, Bud’s new home is with a boy two years older than him, offering for sure black eyes and bloody noses. Sadly he packs up his things; including a very special flyer that his momma left him.

One of them says on it: “Herman Calloway and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression !!!!!!” The six exclamation points make it seem exciting to Bud, and in another flyer with a picture of Herman Calloway on it, he’s sure Herman is his father, not by the looks, the picture is blurry, but because of the memory that came with it. HIs mother had come home from work, and she had the flyer, looking very upset. Bud figured that must be his father, who left.

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After packing his suitcase, he thinks, “Here we go again.”

Chapter 2

Bud Caldwell has just been moved to a new foster home- and right now he’s hating it. Todd Amos, as predicted is just a big bully who likes to use foster kids as a punching bag. As Todd is kicking Bud with his slippers, Mrs. Amos walks in. Todd immediately switches from bully to a victim. He rolls around on the floor, looking not even human. Pretending he’s out of breath, he blubbers out something about Bud fighting him, which is a lie.

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Bud does tip his hat to Todd for his ‘good lie.’ In Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself, Rule Number Three says: “ If you got to tell a lie to make sure it’s simple and easy to remember.” Todd sure did that, and even if he didn’t, Bud’s sure it still would have worked because to Mrs. Amos, Todd’s word was her prayer book. Bud ends up getting locked into a shed after giving an embarrassing apology to Todd and his mother. He is also accused of being a bedwetter as Mrs. Amos hates bed-wetters. The shed he was locked in was dark, with old spider webs and newspapers over the windows. The click of the padlock was the loudest sound Bud ever heard.

Chapter 3

Bud is currently in a shed- a very dark shed where his heavy breathing sounds like six people are hiding in there. The doorknob was protected by three sharp-toothed fish heads that later cuts Bud’s hand. Bud immediately tries to figure out how to escape. Cockroaches on the floor make him think of the time his friend Bugs got a cockroach stuck in his ear. He hopes the same fate won’t befall him. He thinks he sees a vampire bat in the corner and hits it with a rake. It isn’t a vampire bat, it’s a hornet’s nest! Bud knows he definitely needs to get out of there. He slams against the door. It gives him nothing but a bite from the fish head and a sore shoulder. Next, Bud, getting continually stung by angry hornets, climbs up on a woodpile and breaks the window, escaping. He is ready for his revenge on the Amoses.

Chapter 4

Bud crawls through the kitchen window, which is luckily unlocked. He grabs his suitcase, then the big gun on the wall. He doesn’t want the Amoses the “accidentally” shoot him. Next, he opens up the cupboards to look for a cup. Bud finds an old jelly jar that the Amoses had given him for a cup. Turning on the faucet, he realizes that they have running hot water. Bud shoves a dishrag into the drain to limit the noise and lets the water warm up. He then fills up the jar with water, remembering what an older boy from the Home had told him. “If you dip somebody’s hand in the water, they are sure to wet the bed,” he had said. Bud grins, remembering how much Mrs. Amos hates bed-wetters. He tiptoes to Todd’s room and tries to put Todd’s hand into the jar, but it’s too fat. He pours the water on his hand, but the tactic is not working. Gently, he pours the warm water over Todd’s legs. Todd’s eyes flutter, then slowly, he wets the bed. QUietly walking out of the room, he escapes through the window.

Chapter 5

Bud thinks it’s fun being “on the run”- for about five minutes. After that, he’s scared, and not sure where to go. He walks past rows of Christmas trees and settles under one. He unties the funny knots the Amoses tied after looking in his bag. He pulls out a bag of rocks that were his Momma’s and a picture of her sitting on a tiny horse, with a cowboy hat almost as big on her perched on her bed. Bud remembers what his mom had told him while showing him the picture. She got all riled up. “That hard-headed man made me wear that hat!” “Yes, Momma.”

Bud would say. “It was filthy, crawling with bug and lice. The nerve of that man!!” “Yes, Momma.” “The nerve of the man! And the photographer didn’t even bother to wash the hat!” “No, Momma.” That’s about how the conversation would go- every time. Sitting under the tree, Bud also remembers the talk about his name. “Bud is your name and don’t you ever let anyone call you anything outside of that either.’ Bud would say, “Yes, Momma,” She would go on and say that she especially didn’t want anybody call him “Buddy” because that was a dog’s name or something you call somebody when you are being false-friendly. Momma also told something strange to him about doors. ‘And Bud, I want you always to remember, no matter how bad things look to you, no matter how dark the night, when one door closes, don’t worry because another door opens.’

Chapter 6

Bud wakes up from the shining sun coming through the trees. He thinks “Uh, oh” because he has to be there early to get breakfast. Still hopeful, he runs to the mission, where a man tells him the line is closed. He tries arguing with no avail. Then, a very broad, tall man calls him Clarence, pretending Bud was his son. Bud catches on, and walks up to his “pretend family.” He stood in the line with them for a long time, until they finally get their oatmeal. Inside, there was a picture of a white family in a fancy car and lettering that said: There’s No Place Like America Today!! His pretend daddy comments about it, and he pretend mommy shares a packet of brown sugar with him and his pretend siblings, who scowl at him. Bud doesn’t blame them. The oatmeal was good! He asks them if they come for dinner, which they don’t, and they advise him to come very early in the mornings.

Chapter 7

After a hearty breakfast at the mission, Bud decides to find his friend, Miss Hill, who works at the library. He walks there and notices how to library smells like books. The smell makes him want to fall asleep. Librarians always kick out people who drool, though, and But doesn’t want to take any chances. He decides to look for Miss Hill. Three times, he goes upstairs, downstairs, all over looking for her. He looks in between bookshelves until he confirms that she isn’t there. He goes to the front desk to inquire. The lady says: “Oh, haven’t you heard?” Which Bud translates as immediate bad news, like Miss Hill dying a bloody and gruesome death. It turns out, however, that Miss Hill got married and moved to Chicago. It’s too far to walk, the lady shows him in a book of maps. Sadly, Bud walks back to his tree and immediately falls asleep.

Chapter 8

Bud wakes up to a stick cracking. It’s Bugs, his friend from the Home. Bugs to go hop a train, so they go to Hooperville. It is getting dark, though, and Hooverville is nowhere in sight. Finally, they can’t find it, but they do find a small colony of cardboard shacks. There is a big fire going on, and the food is cooking, it smells good. Bugs flips a coin to see who will ask where Hooverville is. Bud loses. He asks the man and he laughs, saying this is it, and are you hungry, boy? Bud says he is. The man gives them food, and for exchange, the boys do the dishes.

A girl name Deza Malone helps them, and Bud has a nice conversation with her, followed by his first kiss. Bud is relieved when he finds his suitcase isn’t meddled with. He looks at his stuff, feeling a little sentimental. The next morning, they are all ready to hop the next train. The cops are after them and a bunch of boys and men rush for the train. Bud tosses his bag to Bugs but a flyer falls out of it and Bud slows to put it in his pocket and misses the train. The cops are tossing Hooverville into the fire. Bud tries and hurries to get breakfast at the mission.

Chapter 9

After getting breakfast at the mission, Bud heads to the library for directions. After he gets some and figures it will take him 24 hours to walk to Grand Rapids, the librarian asks him a question. She asks if he’s the boy who would come in and ask for Civil War books. It was Bud, and he says so. The nice lady smiles and gives him a nice, long book with lots of pictures. After reading/looking at it, Bud realizes he’s been there all day. As he’s walking out, he thinks about Herman. E. Calloway, the man on his flyer. Could it be his father? Like Bugs, Bud is heading west!

Chapter 10

In this chapter, Bud decides to go find his father in Grand Rapids. He is walking along the road at night when a man drives by and sees him. The man stops and pulls over. He whistles loudly and then starts talking out loud to Bud because he knows that he’s there. After talking for a bit, the man starts talking about food, and how he has an extra sandwich and a bottle of pop. Bud’s stomach growls, he’s hungry. He comes out and makes a deal with the man; that if he gives him the food, Bud will talk. Bud decides to lie, that he’s run away from home. The man buys it and gives Bud the bottle of pop. When he asks Bud where he ran away from Bud has an inspiration. He answers: “Grand Rapids.” The man says he will take him there. Bud then sees a box under the door that says: URGENT, CONTAINS HUMAN BLOOD. Bud’s heart starts pounding fast. Could this man be a vampire? As soon as the man let go of Bud’s arm, Bud slides into the driver’s seat and takes off!

Chapter 11

The car doesn’t go more than thirty feet before it lurched, then stopped. The vampire man catches up to Bud and Bud shows him his knife. The man laughs and asks him that is he’s a vampire, why did have the sandwich and pop? The man explains that the blood is for a hospital. The man asks him who his father was, and Bud replies Herman E. Calloway, who plays a giant fiddle. The man got excited because he knew him; everyone in Grand Rapids did. The man told him his name, Lefty Lewis, and gave Bud the food. After eating, Bud pretends to fall asleep and actually does. When he wakes up, he doesn’t let up. The lady talking, Lefty Lewis’ daughter, talks about how skinny Bud is. During breakfast, Mrs. Sleet introduces Bud to her kids, Kim and Scott. Kim sings an annoying song, and Scott asks weird questions. Bud justs eats, even though the whole family is talking.

Cite this page

Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. (2022, Jan 13). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/bud-not-buddy-by-christopher-paul-curtis-essay

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