Christopher Paul Curtis

Biography

Christopher Paul Curtis

“To me the highest accolade comes when a young reader tells me, ‘I really liked your book.’ The young seem to be able to say ‘really’ with a clarity, a faith, and an honesty that we as adults have long forgotten. That is why I write.”—Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis made an outstanding debut in children’s literature with The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963. His second novel, Bud, Not Buddy, is the first book ever to receive both the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Flint, Michigan, Christopher Paul Curtis spent his first 13 years after high school on the assembly line of Flint’s historic Fisher Body Plant # 1. His job entailed hanging car doors, and it left him with an aversion to getting into and out of large automobiles—particularly big Buicks.

Curtis’s writing—and his dedication to it—has been greatly influenced by his family members. With grandfathers like Earl “Lefty” Lewis, a Negro Baseball League pitcher, and 1930s bandleader Herman E. Curtis, Sr., of Herman Curtis and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression, it is easy to see why Christopher Paul Curtis was destined to become an entertainer.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 tells the story of 10-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan, and their unforgettable journey that leads them into one of the darkest moments in American history. It is by turns a hilarious, touching, and tragic story about civil rights and the impact of violence on one family.

Curtis’s novel Bud, Not Buddy focuses on 10-year-old Bud Caldwell, who hits the road in search of his father and his home. Times may be hard in 1936 Flint, Michigan, but orphaned Bud’s got a few things going for him; he believes his mother left a clue of who his father was—and nothing can stop Bud from trying to find him.

PRAISE

THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM—1963

—A Newbery Honor Book
—A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
—An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
—An ALA Notable Children’s Book
—A Booklist 25 Top Black History Picks for Youth
—An NCSS-CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
—A Children’ s Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
—A New York Times Best Book
—A Publishers Weekly Best Book
—A Horn Book Fanfare
—A Bulletin Blue Ribbon
—The California Young Reader Medal

“An exceptional first novel.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Ribald humor . . . and a totally believable child’s view of the world will make this book an instant hit.”—Starred, School Library Journal

“Startling, innovative, and effective.”—Starred, The Bulletin

BUD, NOT BUDDY

—A Newbery Medal Winner
—A Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner
—An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
—An ALA Notable Children’s Book
—An IRA Children’s Book Award Winner
—An NCSS-CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
—A School Library Journal Best Book
—A Publishers Weekly Best Book
—A New York Times Notable Book

“Curtis has given a fresh, new look to a traditional orphan-finds-a-home story that would be a crackerjack read-aloud.”—Starred, School Library Journal

“Bud’s journey, punctuated by Dickensian twists in plot and enlivened by a host of memorable personalities, will keep readers engrossed from first page to last.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly



Events

Christopher Paul Curtis

02/10/13 | 2:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh Arts & Lecture Series
Kauffman Center
815 Centre Street, Pittsburgh, PA

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Videos

displaying results 1–5 of 6 titles


The Mighty Miss Malone

By Christopher Paul Curtis

"We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary ...

Recommended for AGE 9-12 years


Release Date Jan. 10, 2012

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Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission

By Christopher Paul Curtis

Steven and his best friend Russell are back!

When Russell's dog, Rodney Rodent, jumps into a mural to chase a demonic-looking gnome and disappears, the Flint Future Detectives are ...

Recommended for AGE 8-12 years


Release Date Jan. 23, 2007

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Mr. Chickee's Funny Money

By Christopher Paul Curtis

Mr. Chickee, the genial blind man in the neighborhood, gives 9-year-old Steven a mysterious bill with 15 zeros on it and the image of a familiar but startling face. Could ...

Recommended for AGE 8-12 years


Release Date Oct. 11, 2005

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Bucking the Sarge

By Christopher Paul Curtis

Luther T. Farrell has got to get out of Flint, Michigan.

As his best friend Sparky says, “Flint’s nothing but the Titanic.”

And his mother, a.k.a. the ...

Recommended for AGE 12 and up


Release Date Sept. 14, 2004

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Bud, Not Buddy

By Christopher Paul Curtis

It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan, and when 10-year-old Bud decides to hit the road to find his father, nothing can stop him.

Recommended for AGE 8-12 years


Release Date Sept. 7, 1999

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