Bud, Not Buddy tells the story of a 10 year old orphan whose mother died four years earlier. The year is 1936. This is during the Great Depression. Bud is taken in by the Amoses who think Bud is a troublemaker. They lock him in the shed, and Bud runs away. Bud goes to the library looking for Miss Hill. She has moved away. Instead Bud sees his friend Bugs who is running away out west. Bud joins him hoping to find his father. Bugs and Bud get separated when Bud is too slow to catch the train. Bud goes to the library to research the walking distance to Grand Rapids where he believes his father is. While walking to Grand Rapids, Bud meets Lefty Lewis who gives him a ride. Bud finally reaches Grand Rapids and finds Herman Calloway, the man he believes is his father. Herman Calloway is an old coot who denies he has a son.
Why Read the Novel?
Bud, Not Buddy is a terrific choice for a class novel study for several reasons:
Bud, Not Buddy tells the story of a young boy living during the 1930’s Great Depression. Through this story students get a feel for this time in American history. The story tells of poverty, hardships, and orphanages, hunger. Students read about several events of the Great Depression: soup kitchens, train hopping, and Hoovervilles.
Bud, Not Bud is rich in figurative language. The author filled the novel with similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, and so on. The novel even contains language that was made-up by the main character Bud. The author’s word choice really enhances the novel.
Bud, Not Buddy is a Common Core Exemplary Text. This means that the novel contains complex language. Advanced vocabulary and other elements challenge students.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
This is a free sample constructed response organizer. Just click on the image to download the pdf version. This constructive response organizer pairs well with the anchor chart above.
Ways to Use the Graphic Organizer
Have students use the graphic organizer for notes. Notice the notes in the photo above are not in complete sentences. Glue the organizer to the left side of the notebook page. On the right side of the notebook, students use the notes to write the details in paragraph form.
Students complete the organizer by writing complete sentences.
Bud, Not Buddy Book Unit
- Vocabulary Practice for Chapter 1
- Constructed Response Question – Character Traits
- Constructed Response Question – Comparing Characters
- Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like
Bud, Not Buddy Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, constructed response writing, and skill practice.