Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis is about a journey that begins in Flint, Michigan when a 10 year old orphan runs away in 1936.  He is not running away from something as much as he is running toward something.

Taking his treasures in an old suitcase, he sets out to find his father.  But he doesn’t know who his father is, so he brings hope and a clue.   The clue is an old flyer for Hermann E. Caldwell and his jazz band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression.  Bud is sure Hermann E. Caldwell must be his father.  After all, they have the same last name and his mother had these old fliers.

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.

Bud has survived an orphanage and a less than ideal foster home using his running list of “Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things to Have a Funner Life and Make a Better Liar Out of Yourself.”

Number 83…If a Adult Tells You Not to Worry, and You Weren’t Worried Before, You Better Hurry Up and Start ‘Cause You’re Already Running Late.

Along the way from Flint toward Grand Rapids he makes some friends, has some close calls, and gets some answers.  Ultimately, his name proves to be prophetic.

A bud is a flower-to-be.  A flower in waiting.  Waiting for just the right warmth and care to open up.


Copyright © Gienah Beaty,, 2016.  All rights reserved.  (Public Domain image courtesy of