Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis is a Newbery Medal winner that I found entirely deserving of its honors.
Bud has been passed from orphanage to foster home since he was six
years old. When things go wrong at yet another foster home, he sets out
on his own with just an old suitcase full of his most treasured
belongings -- mostly mementos from his mother. After a few adventures
and misadventures around town, Bud sets out from Flint, Michigan to
Grand Rapids. He's off to find Herman E. Calloway, the man Bud believes
to be his father. You see, his mother never told him who his father was,
but she left behind some clues, including a handful of flyers for
Herman E. Calloway's jazz band. Will Bud make it to Grand Rapids, and
will he find a home there? You bet -- but neither of those things will
happen in the way Bud expects!
This is a great book, both funny
and heartwarming. Curtis always writes with such an authentic voice, you
can tell he's one of those authors who remembers what it's like to be a
kid. The story flows along with perfect pacing, and the period and
setting are well-researched without being obtrusive. This is an
excellent book which I highly recommend.
(Reviewed from my personally purchased copy.)