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review 2017-04-08 02:58
Bud, Not Buddy
Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, Not Buddy is about a young boy who is sent to an orphanage at the age of six after his mother passes away. This story is taken place during the Great Depression. Bud is determined to find his biological father while he is moving from the orphanage to different families. I read this story a couple of years ago and thought it was fantastic.

 

This novel could be read in a 3-5th grade classroom aloud, or it could be read in 6-8th grade. I would use this story to have comprehension, analysis and theme discussions as reading it aloud in the class. I would have 5th grade students choose one object or person from the story that is a symbolic representation and have them write about it. For 3rd or 4th graders, I would have them choose one of the main characters and create a word web describing that character.

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review 2016-11-11 23:44
Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but he's on a mission. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: posters of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression! Bud's got an idea that those posters will lead to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him. I would use this book in a 6th grade classroom to broaden my students knowledge of the Great Depression. This story also gives students a basic knowledge of the music in this time period, particularly Jazz. Other than for historical purposes I would use this book to show readers that everyone desires to have a family and be accepted by those around them. Bud was an orphan who wanted a family so badly he went on a quest to find his father and let nothing get in his way. Many students have no knowledge of what it means to be an orphan, to be in foster care, to not know your family, and to feel as if you are completely alone. Through Bud's story students will receive a better understanding of these things which will help them be more sympathetic and accepting to others.

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review 2016-11-11 16:15
Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

This is the story about a young African American boy bring raised by his single mother during the Great Depression. He goes on a journey to find his father after his mother provides some small, but significant information about him. This story could be used to teach about family units and dynamic, history and the Great Depression, and African American lifestyle and hardships in past times.

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review 2016-10-16 19:38
Bud, Not Buddy
Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

This is a great book that talks about aspects of the Great Depression. Bud Caldwell is an orphan who gets placed with a foster family and runs away. He meets up with a jazz band and later realizes his grandfather is in the band. I would use this book with my 5th grade class. I would use this book when talking about the Great Depression. This book is filled with tons of figurative language, so you could do a small group lesson on figurative language and use this book. The intended audience for this book is grades 3-7. 

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review 2016-01-11 16:33
Displaying all of the strengths of a great historian
To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 - Ian Kershaw

I've always found historical series to be curious in a way. A series suggests a degree of homogenization: a number of books grouped together by a common theme or goal. In the case of the Penguin History of Europe series, the goal to to provide an overview of Western/European history from ancient times through the twentieth century. Most of the volumes have been published and for the most part they're excellent surveys of their eras and likely to remain the standard works on their periods for the next generation. Yet the volumes are not uniform, and the closer they come to present times the more narrow the period being covered, with the ancient world covered in a single volume, the thousand-year span of the Middle Ages in three, and the 167 years between 1648 and 1815 covered in just one volume.

 

Because of this, it is not surprising that Ian Kershaw was given an entire volume to cover the 20th century. What is interesting, though, is that at some point he concluded that to do the job properly it would require two volumes, and that Penguin assented. Thus, this is simply the first half of Kershaw's overview of the century passed, providing a level of detail unprecedented in the series. That it doesn't feel bloated or dragged out is in part due to Kershaw's ability to analyze the events of this 35-year span in a way that never exhausts the reader's attention. Clearly his many years of award-winning scholarship in the era are a factor here, as he brings all of the insights he gained over the course of his career to bear in explaining the broader developments of this period.

 

Yet Kershaw's background also defines some of his limitations: his opening chapters on the First World War are the weakest in the book, reflecting little of the fascinating insights provided recently by such authors as Christopher Clark and Adam Tooze -- this despite the fact that their recent books are both listed in the bibliography. Once Kershaw moves into the interwar period, however, his narrative begins to shine. His focus is primarily on the political and economic developments of the time, seeking to explain (as the title indicates) how Europe descended into the hell of war and chaos and then clawed their way back. Yet he does not ignore the social and cultural changes that took place during this period, and his coverage of these areas give the reader the well-rounded narrative that such a series requires. It ends on what amounts to cliffhanger, as readers will have to wait until the succeeding volume to discover whether Kershaw can maintain the high standards he has set with this volume when explaining the developments that followed.

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